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Ainrti IlllnoiSi 

OCTOBER 31st. AND NOVEMBER 1st. 1867. 


Containing the Proceedings and Resolutions of the Convention. 


B ev. Messrs. HAET and BLANCHABD, 



By Rev. C. G-. FINNEY, late President of 
Oberlin College. 

PRICE. Single Copies 25 ets. 5 Copies % 1 
Sent by Mail on Receipt of Price. 


Rev I. A. HART, 

Wlieaton Illinois. 





Oct Z\st and Nov. 1st, 1867. 


The ProceeMip & Eesolutions of the Convention, 

Of Ret. Messes. Haet astd Blanch a kd, 

With copious extracts from congratulatory letters, 


* In secret have I said nothing." — Jesus Cheist. 

Published and for sale by Ezra A. Cook, Manufacturing Stations*, 
88 La Salle Street. 




This second edition of the Aurora minutes 
is issued because the demand for it has exhaus- 
ted the first edition of 3,000 in an almost in- 
credibly short space of time. And still orders 
pour in for more. The work has been revis- 
ed, condensed and abridged in order greatly 
to enhance its value by making room for the 
masterly sermon of Rev. C. G.Finney, delivered 
to his church in Oberlin, a short time before 
the Convention and prepared for publication 
by himself. It is believed that those who 
may miss the portions of the first edition 
which have been left out to make room for 
this sermon, will be more than satisfied with 
the exchange ; and also that the use of larger 
type, a greater number of pages and a better 
quality of paper will more than reconcile them 
to a slight increase in the price. Our object 
is a more thorough discussion of the subject 
and. a more general diffusion of unanswerable 
arguments. We ask the friends of free dis- 
cussion, who believe in being of the day 
and not of the night nor of darkness, to aid 
us in the circulation of this book by sending 
in their orders for themselves and for their 
friends and neighbors. Above all things let 
prayer be made without ceasing to God 
through Christ, that this diffusion of truth 
may be made effectual through the accom- 
panying power of the Holy Spirit. 

Committee of Publication. 


The Christian Convention at Aurora was 
the result of a deep conviction that the evil 
of organized secrecy has reached such dimen- 
sions that longer silence and inaction cannot 
be innocently maintained. . It was seen that 
the dark floods of secret influence were not 
only overflowing the plains, but were cover- 
ing the hills and reaching the mountains ; not 
only filling the world, but pouring into the 
church ; not only infecting the youth, but 
grave ministers were being carried away with 
the dissimulation. While the press and the 
pulpit were, as a general rule, observing as 
studied a silence on the subject as might be 
expected if they were subsidized or struck 
dumb with terror. Organized Deism was 
seen in open day laying the corner stones of 
Christian churches. Perplexed and distressed 
by this state of things, a few like-minded 
Christians determined to invite a convention 
for prayer and consultation. They regarded 
it merely as a local movement, not expecting 
members from more than a few counties at most. 
A portion of the religious press showed great 

reluctance to publishing the call. Others, how- 
ever, secular as well as religious, gave it un- 
solicited insertion and commendation. And 
when the convention assembled, to the surprise 
of those who had called it, earnest men were 
found there from Ohio, from Michigan, from 
Indiana, from Iowa and Nebraska, as well as 
from Illinois. 

There were Episcopal Methodists and Pro- 
testant Methodists, Free Methodists, Wesley- 
ans, Baptists and Free Will Baptists, United 
Brethren, German Lutherans, Congregation- 
alists and Presbyterians, all speaking the same 
things. Eighty-seven members enrolled their 
names, and letters of congratulation poured 
in from Wisconsin to Mason and Dixon's line, 
and from Rhode Island to Washington Terri- 
tory. We were thrilled and awed. We were 
evidently in the focus of that light which shi- 
neth from one end of heaven to the other. 
The spirit which brooded over the chaos at 
creation was evidently moving on the deep 
of mind, was lifting up the standard promised 
"when the enemy cometh in like a flood." 
We were reassured that there were reserved 
at least "seven thousand men that have not 
bowed the knee to the image of Baal." We 
gathered what we could of the light which 
shone around us, and the result is the work 
before you. We ask for it a candid and 
prayerful reading. 

Committee of Publication. 


Persuant to the following call, a convention 
met at the City Hall in Aurora, and was 
called to order by Benj. Hackney, Esq. 

"In compliance with the expressed wish of 
persons of different denominations, the under- 
signed respectfully request such of their fellow 
Christians as may choose to do so to meet 
them in convention on Thursday, Oct. 31st, 
at 3 o'clock, P. M., at the City Hall in the city 
of Aurora, HI., for prayer and consultation on 
the following topics: 1. The relation of prev- 
alent Secret Orders to the Christian religion. 
2. The duty of professing Christians in refer- 
ence to them. 3. The propriety of calling a 
National Convention on the subject." 

Signed Joseph Travis, Eoyal Arch Mason, 
I. A. Hart, a seceding Mason of 1828, E. P. 
Hart, Master Mason, C. L. Stow, J. Blanchard, 
David West, D. W. Stockwell, B. Hackney, 
Philo Carpenter, T. G. Damon, M. M. Miles, 
Seth Griffiths, W. Tyler, J. Denny, O. Dewey, 
Edward Ebbs, S. McCarty, Charles Gill, 
Newton Otis, S. Towne, B. West, E. Denny, 
K D. Fanning, J. G. Terrill, C. H. Under- 
wood, W. Stannard, Master Mason, Lewis 
Bailey, L. Bishop, G. H. Fox, Joseph Catter- 
lin, Isaac Preston. 

In view of the fact that the word "christian" 
admits of various significations the Committee 
of Arrangements passed the following resolu- 
tion and caused it to be published with the 
call, viz: 

That the Convention be composed of the 
various evangelical denominations. 

A temporary organization was effected by 
calling Rev. N. D. Fanning, of Elgin, to the 
chair, and appointing Rev. C. H. Underwood, 
of Freeport, and Joseph Denny, Esq., of 
Aurora, clerks. After which, the Convention 
spent a season of earnest prayer for the pres- 
ence and guidance of the Holy Spirit. 

The Convention was permanently organ- 
ized by the choice of Rev. J. Blanchard, of 
"Wheaton College, President, Philo Carpenter, 
Esq., and Rev. R. Loggan, Vice Presidents, 
Rev. N. D. Fanning, Sec'y, and Rev. J. P. 
Richards and Joseph Denny, Assistants. 

The Convention held five sessions with deep 
and increasing interest. A spirit of fervent 
prayer seemed to pervade the assembly and 
much time was spent in this exercise. 

A large number of congratulatory letters 
were received and read in whole or in part, 
specimens of which will be found in this work. 

Able addresses were delivered by Kev. I. A. 
Hart, Rev. Milton Smith, Rev. Joseph Travis, 
Rev. James I. Baber, Isaac Preston, Esq., 
Rev. Geo. Clark, Rev. J. Blanchard and others. 
The following resolutions were discussed 
and adopted : 

Wheeeas Christianity in its origin is an 
emanation from Christ, in its experiences is a 
union with Christ, and admits of no rival in 
the hearts of His subjects, and, 

Wheeeas Masonry, with its kindred sys- 
tems, neither emanates from Christ, nor con- 
sists in union with Him, but .adheres to rites 
and ceremonies not deducible rrom the Word 
of God, and imposes obligations upon men's 
consciences often inconsistent with that Word, 

Resolved, That it and they sustain a rela- 
tion of rivalship to our common Christianity, 
and are therefore anti-christian. 

Resolved, That we believe our duty to be 
plain, viz: first, to religiously abstain from 
any affiliation with these societies ; secondly, 
to calmly, truthfully and lovingly expose their 
unchristian character, and thirdly, by all legiti- 
mate means to oppose their progress and influ- 
ence amongst us. 

The Convention came to the conclusion that 
it was expedient to publish their minutes and 


discussions, as far as practable and also that 
a National Convention be called upon the sub- 
ject. To carry out these objects the follow- 
ing committees were appointed with plenary 

Publishing Co:mmittee — Rev. I. A. Hart, 
Rev. J. Blanchard, Prof. O. F. Lumry, L. W. 
Mills, Esq., of Wheaton, HI., Rev. N. D. Fan- 
ning, of Elgin. 

National Executive Committee — Pres. 
J. Blanchard, of Wheaton, 111., Prof. H. Fair- 
child, of Oberlin, O., Rev. B. F. Roberts, of 
Rochester, N. Y., Rev. John Lawrence, Nash- 
ville, Tenn., Rev. A. Crooks, Syracuse, N. Y., 
Rev. A. C. Van Roalte, Holland, Mich., Rev. 
Nathan Brown, New York City, Rev. Mr. 
Livingston, Wis., T. P. Stevenson, Editor 
Christian Statesman, Philadelphia, Rev. De 
Los Love, Milwaukee, Wis. 

The following resolutions were adopted : 

Wheeeas our republican institutions were 
dictated and sustained by a free discussion 
and ample elucidation of their foundation 
principles, and resort has never been had to 
secret combinations of any character for their 
maintainance, and 

Wheeeas the same is true of all the teach- 
ings and works of Christ respecting His king- 
dom, as also of the apostles and martyrs, and 
the whole church of God in its reformatory 
movements; and, 

Whebeas permanent social secrecy is the 
invariable badge of all associated evil doers, 
and we are commanded to shun the very ap- 
pearance of evil ; and, 

Whebeas the history of secret temperance 
orders for the last twenty years plainly dem- 
onstrates that organizations operating secret- 
ly for good objects are. easy stepping-stones 
to the more mystic and dangerous orders; 
therefore, as the earnest friends of the tem- 
perance reformation, we ask for it an open 
field and free discussion believing that it is 
impossible to reform men by ceremonial ob- 
ligations, but alone by the creation of a right 
feeling and principle, through the truth, un- 
trammeled by rites and ceremonies and un- 
impeded by the suspicion which always fol- 
lows secrecy; we therefore deem it unwise 
and unsafe to affiliate with or in any way to 
countenance such secret organizations. 

Resolved, That the thanks of the Conven- 
tion be tendered to the various papers that 
have published the call for this Convention, 
hoping for like courtesy on future occasions 
from the newspaper press generally. 

Resolved, That the thanks of the Conven- 
tion be tendered to the citizens of Aurora for 
their hospitality to the members, and to the 
City Council for the use of their hall. 

Resolved, That the removal and overthrow 
of the secret orders be made a subject of 


special prayer on the first Sabbath evening 
of each month, wherever practicable, and 
thanks be given to God on the next day of 
public thanksgiving, for the auspicious inaug- 
uration of this movement. 

The hour being late, the Convention ad- 
journed sine die, with singing the Doxology 
in Old Hundred. 

J. BLANCHAPJ), President. 

N. D. Fanning, Secretary. 


Me. President and Brethren : 

When, to avoid confession of crime a man 
commits suicide, that suicide is the strongest 
kind of a confession. So, when men murder 
a man for disclosing their secrets, by that act 
they confess and declare that he has actually 
and truly disclosed their secrets, more strong- 
ly than they could do it by words or affida- 
vits. Masons have said to me, when I have 
confessed to the truth of Morgan's and Ber- 
nard's revelations, "You are a perjured man." 
The haste and holy horror with which the 
last speaker fled from this house upon the call 
for a speech from a seceding Mason, was plain- 
ly meant to convey the same impression. Well, 
if I am a perjured man, it is because I have 
violated my oath by disclosing Masonic se- 


crets. I have disclosed no such secrets unless 
Bernard's book is true. The Mason who says 
I am perjured says, thereby, that the book is 
true. For on no other supposition can n*y 
attestation of it amount to. perjury. And if 
I am perjured, he is perjured, and by the same 
act— the attestation of Morgan's book. And 
his attestation is even stronger and less to be 
suspected than mine; because it is an un- 
intentional and unwilling attestation. Yes, 
I love to have Masons talk about seceding 
Masons being perjured. A smart and wiley 
Mason never does that. He says, "Accord- 
ing to your own account of the matter you 
are perjured, and therefore are not fit to be 
believed." That's 'shrewd. During the war 
detectives went and joined the K. Gr. Cs. for 
the express purpose of disclosing their secrets 
and thus defeating and breaking them up. 
What palxiot says they are perjured, or not 
fit to be believed \ And if paramount duty 
to country justified these detectives in treat- 
ing the oaths they took in these dark con- 
claves as a nullity, a promise honored only in 
the breach of it, how much more would they 
be justified in violating those oaths, if they 
had gone into them in good faith, lured and 
wheedled in by goodly professions of loyalty 
and solemn assurances that the order was 
pure in its principles and objects, in perfect 
harmony with their duty to God and their 
country ? 


Not fit to be believed ? Who were the old 
seceding Masons? They were counted by 
thousands. They were men than whom 
among the Masonic fraternity certainly there 
were none in better repute up to the day of 
their seceding. Their entire testimony is a 
harmonious unity. They agree perfectly. 
There was not, and is not to-day, a man in all 
the land, whom his neighbors would believe 
under oath, that dares to utter a straight for- 
ward contradiction to their testimony. Not 
fit to be believed? And yet the valorous 
legions of Masonry, were, to a man, silenced 
in their presence and fled in dismay before 
their testimony ; forsook their lodges and did 
not return to them for about the space of 
twenty years, and very few of the old Masons 
even then. If false witness against Masonry 
had such power, what would the truth have 

But now, after forty years, we find these 
routed legions again in the field. What 
seemed a dead carcass is again raised to life. 
It even boasts more largely than ever, and 
its vain boasting is deluding a generation 
which knew not Morgan. The greater part 
of the original seceders sleep with the fathers ; 
and although no well informed and truthful 
man dares squarely contradict their testimony 
or impeach their characters, yet great efforts 
are made, by indirection and inuendoes, by 

cunningly framed questions, by special plead- 
ing and quibbling, and double entendres, to 
make the impression that their testimony was 
false, and still more to bury them out of mind 
or push them into insignificance or forgetfull- 
ness, by the imposing grandeur of the living 
orders. It seems, therefore, both appropriate 
and necessary to recall that testimony, and 
that the few who survive should repeat it to 
an age who have come upon the stage of life 
since these things were transacted. I may 
be told that it will be useless : that Freema- 
sonry has now reached such a magnitude, and 
has so entrenched itself that it can hurl defi- 
ance at all its enemies and treat the assaults 
of such miserable dotards as old seceding Ma- 
sons with utter contempt and scorn. As to 
the scorn of Masons or of men, it is a small 
matter, since even Paul was accounted a fool 
for the truth's sake, and all true reformers 
have shared this odium. And if it were not 
so, "He that is down needs fear no fall." 
Just reproaches I have no right to complain 
of, and unjust ones give me no concern, espe- 
cially if thereby truth may be elicited and 
good may come to my brethren of mankind. 
As to the effect of our testimony upon the 
colossal power of Masonry and other secret 
orders, that will be not as men pronounce, 
but as God wills, feeble or mighty. We may 
seem, in this effort, like one who attempts to 


match the north wind with his breath; and 
yet we may gain this satisfaction, if no more, 
the consciousness of having done our duty. 
I therefore, as one standing on the shore of 
the silent river, take this occasion to renew 
a 3ceding Mason's testimony once more, 
before I make the returnless passage, anxious 
mainly to do my duty, and leave the results 
with Him who disposes of our lives and of all 
things, making great events to spring often 
from slight causes, and bringing to nought 
the c, mnsels of the proud. I am not certain 
that the time has fully come to speak or act 
with immediate or decisive success against the 
secret orders of the day. But I do feel as sure 
as I do of Christ's final triumph, that it will 
come. It will come. And then, and not till 
then, let my epitaph be written. 

I ask now your indulgence while I state 
some of the reasons why I renounced Free- 
masonry, and feel it my duty to testify against 
it and all analagous institutions. In doing 
this, let me premise that I do not pretend to 
be revealing Masonic secrets. That work 
was done up forty years ago ; and yet men 
reproach and sneer at me as a revealer of 
secrets, when I only take a universally con- 
ceeded liberty, that of freely discussing mat- 
ters that have become the property of the 
public by being printed, stereotyped and sent 
over the land for forty years. Secrets, for- 


sooth ! ! The truth is, Free Masonry lias no 
secrets, and never had any worth knowing. 
But if their pomps and boasts awaken any 
one's curiosity, and you cannot resist the sug- 
gestion that where there is so much smoke 
there must be some fire, and you must trace 
the thing to its source and know what it is 
that makes all this parade and ado, I testify 
to you that at a very trifling expense you can 
learn more in a few hours from books of the 
secrets and wonders of Freemasonry, and O. 
F. too, than you can by attending their lodges 
for years, and retain your purse, your life, and 
your conscience in your own keeping, instead 
of committing them to a mysterious and irre- 
sponsible tyranny. If a Mason with a digni- 
fied sneer asks you if you really suppose you 
can get any knowledge of what has never 
been revealed, and never can be revealed, 
from such debauched and miserable swindlers 
as Wm. Morgan, or David Bernard, or Jabez 
Richardson, be you sure that this swagger is 
all the more a real and certain lie, for being 
only an implied and acted one. From these 
books you can know Freemasonry as it was, 
as certainly as you can know the American 
Revolution from Marshall's and Ramsey's 
Histories, or the laws of the United States 
from the .published journals of Congress, or 
the Christian religion from the Old and New 
Testaments. I feel, therefore, at perfect lib- 


erty to speak of any or all their "secrets," as 
they call them, because they are no secrets. 
Tho' I cannot say I feel safe from those arrows 
which are shot secretly at the upright, by un- 
happy men in whom Secretism has engen- 
dered a fanaticism which makes them verily 
think they do no more than right and justice 
when they kill the traitors of Masonry. Or, 
failing through fear or policy to assassinate, 
shoot poisoned words and wreak Masonic ven- 
genee on their victim in the words of their 
own oral lecture : " By pointing him out to the 
world as an unworthy and vicious vagabond, 
by opposing his interests, by disarranging his 
business, by transferring his character after 
him wherever he may go, by exposing him to 
the contempt of the whole fraternity and of 
the world, but of our illustrious order more 
especially, during his whole natural life." — 
(L. on M., p. 394.) This is their boasted 

But I shall not be hit or hurt by their 
arrows, unless it be given to the archers from 
above to hit me; and if God shall so will, I 
say with John Brown, I may be worth as 
much to hang as for anything else. I pro- 
pose, therefore, to speak freely as I find occa- 
sion, and to treat all pretended obligation to 
the contrary as Paul did idols — as nothings in 
the world — as I would a promise or an oath 
extorted by fraud or fear not to inform against 


marauding bandits nor to warn my friends of 
their approach or of their designs. The ob- 
ligation to give warning of approaching and 
insidious danger is divinely imposed and pre- 
existing, and therefore paramount to all oaths 
or promises which man can impose. The 
attempt to forestall it is as impious as it is fu- 
tile ; and because Freemasonry attempts to do 
this and commands silence on pain of death, 
therefore, I denounced it, and while God gives 
me life and strength, I will denounce it, come 
what may. 

But in general terms I will say, I renounced 
Masonry because I found it to be in no respect 
what it professes to be, but to be built upon 
a foundation of false pretenses. Upon close 
inspection I became satisfied that however 
sincere and well-disposed a large part of its 
members might be, the institution itself, from 
turret to foundation stone, is a thoroughly 
false institution. It is a stupendous lie, and 
the truth is not in it. . Their very name is a 
misnomer. They are not Masons — they are 
not free. Look at the initiatory ceremonies 
and general work of the lodge room. These all 
seemed to me like the creations of evil fairies. 
First, the candidate is divested of all his cloth- 
ing, except that he is allowed to have on one 
slipper, one leg of a pan of drawers, one 
arm of a shirt, a hangman's rope about his 
neck, and a bandage over his eyes that effect- 


ually prevents his enjoying, or at least seeing 
the splendor of his costume. Thus neither 
barefoot nor shod, neither naked nor clothed, 
in fit array for the gallows, without a penny 
or a pin, the Masons play that he is a poor 
blind candidate, journeying from the west to 
the east in search of light. As in this ludi- 
crous and indecent plight he gropes his way 
to the door by the aid of a conductor, after a 
short parley, he is bidden to "enter in the 
name of the Lord." And then while he 
marches slowly around the room, come fu- 
nereal scripture readings and solemn prayers, 
as if he were in the perils of death ; and then 
amidst the darkness, and the excitement, and 
the gloom of these ominous allusions to un- 
certain terrors, enough to unnerve common 
men, the awful oath is thrust upon him. Then 
and there he must take it, no matter what it 
imports or whether he has enough of self-pos- 
session left to be morally accountable or not. 
Then they play that they open the blind eyes, 
and imitate the Omnipotent in creating light. 
And then follow the opening of the wondrous 
mysteries, and what are they? Why, the 
poor blind candidate sees an open Bible, which 
perhaps he never saw before. He sees, too, 
a square and compass, and is told that Masons 
use these carpenter's tools as a rule of moral 
rectitude — about as sensible as making a God 
of wood or stone ; and then he is taught (mar- 


velous attainment ! ) where to place his thumb 
in shaking hands, so as to say thereby "I am 
a Mason;" moreover a password is given him, 
and he is greeted a brother Boaz. And then 
follow some pleasant instructions and prac- 
tical jokes that would be really amusing if the 
whole scene did not savor as much of the pro- 
fanation of things sacred as of puerile amuse- 
ment. Is there anything of reality or truth 
in all this ? Is the candidate poor ?' is he blind ? 
is he journeying? Is it praying, to ask the 
Grand Architect or Grand Master of the Ce- 
lestial Lodge — to preserve him from dangers 
which they know to be only the creations of 
their own fancies? Their fancies are exceed- 
ingly fruitful in creations. They play that 
they are in Jerusalem, working upon Solo- 
mon's temple. Some are workmen, some over- 
seers; one is Solomon, one Hiram Abiff. Oh ! 
they are kings and princes, and priests and 
high priests, and grand commanders and grand 
sovereign pontiffs. They are worshipful and 
most worshipful, most excellent and most puis- 
sant, and all sorts of nice things. And as 
they assume the titles of nobility and hier- 
archy, so they affect their pomps and their 
array. Is there any truth or reality in all 
this? Or is it all a show of empty, deceitful 
vanity? At the best idle creations of fancy, 
better suited to amuse children than waste 
the time and dilute the thoughts of men. To 


me all seemed heartless and unreal, except, per- 
haps, the call from labor to refreshments, 
especially when "bar-rooms and saloons were 
at hand. The refreshments were real, but 
the effect of them often was to people the 
brain with fancies still more weird and unreal. 
And there was one thing more — the payment 
of dues was real. That " nobody can deny." 
But the devotion I found there seemed to me 
to have no sort of relation to true Christian 
devotion. If anybody can find Christian wor- 
ship there, they can find what I cannot. And 
so I came to the conclusion that as childhood 
was past with me, I had better put away 
childish things. It would be more profitable 
for me to work than to play that I work; 
more edifying to pray, than to play we say 
prayers. If all their plays were such as might 
befit the innocence of childhood, I would smile 
on it and let it pass. But the genius of this in- 
stitution ever and anon mingles with its pleas- 
antries the irreverent and the malign. They 
often play murder, and the arrest and punish- 
ment of the perpetrators, or the assassination 
of some betrayer of their secrets, thus familiar- 
izing their members with the idea that the 
power of life and death belongs to the lodge, 
and preparing them to sacrifice on this altar 
of Moloch such victims as Wm. Morgan and 
many others, who have from time to time been 
disposed of in the same way. Their regal 


and hierarchal titles, their kingly and aristo- 
cratic robes, their papal and pagan pomps, 
might be passed over as peurilities did they 
not tend powerfully to engender the spirit 
that sustains the civil and ecclesiastical des- 
potisms of the Old World, and thus work in- 
sidiously and dangerously against the simpli- 
city and purity of religious worship for which 
our fathers fled to the western wilderness, and 
as insidiously and dangerously against the 
republican liberty and equality for which they 
shed their blood. But here I dismiss these 
shadows, aud come to something more tangi- 
ble. A more positive and decisive objection 
to the Order I found in 

II. Their Oaths. First, I believe the oath 
of God to be a sacred instrument for the in- 
vestigation of matters that concern men's 
highest and dearest rights ; an instrument 
appropriated to the State and the Church. 
When employed by the proper functionaries, 
and for the proper objects, "the oath is holy 
and an end of strife." But for private per- 
sons or ordinary voluntary associations to 
employ it for personal and private ends, is to 
usurp and profane it. It is to violate the 
Savior's command, " Swear not at all." These 
private or extra-judicial oaths are condemned 
by the soundest jurists. Some of the States 
have positive enactments against them. The 
Odd Fellows claim that even they are inno- 


cent of this wrong, though I think they have 
used only a formal evasion while they retain 
the substance of an oath — an indirect aj)peal 
to God and the terrors of death. The secret 
temperance orders all disclaim the use of 
oaths, and thus admit that this objection to 
Freemasonry is well taken. But if extra- 
judicial oaths were allowable, that would be 
very far from excusing Masonic oaths. Their 
peculiarities would fix the seal of their con- 

(a) Thou shalt not forswear thyself, is 
God's command. The Masonic oath is noth- 
ing but a forswearing of one's self in every 
instance. As I understand this matter, a man 
who takes an oath forswears himself, unless 
he knows, beforehand or at the time, what he 
swears to do, and knows both the practicabil- 
ity and lawfulness of the doing, and at the 
proper time does it. a Thou shalt not for- 
swear thyself, but shalt perform unto the 
Lord thine oaths." But that these conditions 
should be fulfilled in the Masonic oath is an 
utter impossibility, and therefore no man can 
take it and not forswear himself; e. g., in the 
first oath he swears to "keep the secrets of 
Freemasonry which I have received, am about 
to receive, or may hereafter be instructed in." 
How could he know whether this oath bound 
him to conceal lawful secrets, or innocent 
pleasantries, or mysteries of iniquity \ He 


could not know, and therefore could not take 
the oath without forswearing himself in palp 
able violation of God's command. 

(b) Swear not at all, is Christ's command 
in reference to all such swearing: "Neither 
by Heaven, for it is God's throne ; neither by 
the earth, for it is his footstool ; neither shalt 
thou swear by thy head, for thou canst not 
make one hair black or white." When a man 
swears under penalty of death, does he not 
swear by his head ? Is it not to violate the 
command, " Neither shalt thou swear by thy 
head"? From first to last there is scarcely 
a Masonic oath in which this is not done. 
The deponent swears that his life may be 
taken in every savage and conceivably horrid 
form, if he proves false. Now then, I affirm 
that, unless a man has a right to commit sui- 
cide he has no right to take such an oath. 
And unless those who administer the oath 
have a right to murder the false deponent in 
form stipulated, they have no right to admin- 
ister such an oath. It partakes of the guilt 
of murder either to take, or to administer such 
an oath. Men shudder when they read of 
the laws of Draco being written in blood ; 
but a pictorial work on Masonry would pre- 
sent as an apj3ropriate vignette to every oath, 
throats cut and streaming with gore, bodies 
severed in twain and the bowels burning to 
ashes between the parts, limbs torn from the 


body, tongues torn out by the roots, eyes dug 
from their sockets, skulls knocked off and the 
brains exposed and" broiling in the sun. — 
Whether these would be appropriate emblems 
of an institution that claims especial emi- 
nence in all the elements of love and gentle- 
ness, I do not decide ; but such were the 
gentle persuasives which Freemasonry em- 
ployed to ensure the silence of every one she 
trusted with her secrects. Their oaths were 
disgusting, shocking, murderous — that was 
another reason why I denounced the institu- 
tution. It did not satisfy me to be told laugh- 
ingly, as tyros in Masonry will tell you now, 
that nothing was meant by these bloody impre- 
cations — a mere flourish of rhetorical tragedy, 
a pretty hard joke, "only this and nothing 
more." If that were true, it would be an 
impious profanity. This scattering of fire 
brands, arrows and death, and saying, "Am 
I not in sport ?" was not my taste. But the 
history of the Morgan affair settled the Ma 
sonic interpretation of their oaths, and dem- 
onstrated that they were no mere brutum 
fulmen, but that Masonry meant to rule its 
members, if inclined to revolt, by the terrors 
of horrid assassination — and that in these 
terrors was the secret of their secrets being 
kept so closely and so long. There at length 
the world has the solution of that mystery. 
Fear has done it. This most ancient, most 


honorable, most pure, most mild and most 
charitable institution carried a concealed dag- 
ger, which ever and anon flashed terror into 
the souls of the wavering, while it carried 
death to those who dared to speak the truth 
concerning it, and returned to its covert with 
such electric quickness that the world never 
saw it. Murder its members for speaking the 
truth ! Morgan might have told as many 
lies as he pleased about Masonry, but no 
sooner does he tell the truth than he must 
die. Could an institution that frames such 
deeds by law and oaths have an author or a 
patron saint less wicked than the Prince of 

(c) There are other things in those oaths 
that to me seemed the footprints of the same 
infernal patron — e. g., swearing not to de- 
fraud or wrong a Mason to the value of one 
cent, or of anything, "knowing him to be 
such," nor to insult his female relatives, know- 
ing them to be such. Those clauses always 
shocked me. I seemed to see old Cloven- 
foot himself peeping through some crack, 
and chuckling and ready to split his sides in 
repressing his laughter, to see how piously 
he had got these men to license general fraud 
and licentiousness, under pretense of being 
extra honest with Masons. As if when the 
Almighty thundered forth his law, "Thou 
shalt not steal," he had managed to have this 


poor hoodwinked and frightened creature 
answer him to his face, "Lord, I won't 
steal from a Mason if I know him ; other- 
wise I shall do as I please about it." When 
God says, " Thou shalt not commit adultery," 
the answer is, u Lord, I won't, if all the wo- 
men will be wives, or daughters, or sisters, 
or mothers of Masons, and inform me of the 
fact; otherwise I shall do as I please about 
it." I remember how this was glossed over 
at the time, and I have heard the same gloss- 
ing lately, viz : that a promise or oath to do 
part of our duty is not a refusal to do the 
whole. This does not, to my mind, relieve 
such oaths of a manifestly corrupt implica- 
tion. When to the question, " will you pay 
me the hundred dollars you owe me, or give 
me your note for it \ " your debtor answers, 
I will give you a note for ten dollars — don't 
you take it as a refusal to pay the ninety 
dollars? So this Masonic oath is coolly in- 
forming the Author of a universal and uncon- 
ditional law that determines our duty defi- 
nitely towards all mankind, that we will, 
upon certain conditions and contingencies, 
observe that law towards a veiy small portion 
of them^a making void the law of God in 
a way that seems to partake of the insolence 
of blasphemy. 

* (d) And again, these oaths often bind the 
the subject, i. e., if they have any validity or 


binding force at all — if they were not made 
void and null by very wickedness — they 
would bind the subject to do that which is 
positively and palpably wicked — e. g., " to 
keep the secrets of a brother or companion 
Mason as sacredly in my breast as they would 
be in his own, murder and treason excepted," 
in the third degree — "murder and treason 
not excepted," in the seventh. God forbids 
us to help the wicked by hiding their crimes, 
and thus screening them from justice. But 
Masonry swears us to do it. The govern- 
ment, in the legitimate use of its God-given 
prerogatives, swears us to testify the whole 
truth within our knowledge touching certain 
crimes. But Masonry foreswears us not to 
testify, if the culprit be a Mason. Which 
oath shall be violated? The oath of one's 
country and of God, or the oath of the lodge \ 
The oath of the government certainly is bind- 
ing. If the Masonic oath is binding, too, 
then is the Mason's soul brought into a snare 
wherein he must be inevitably perjured, obey 
which he may. Into such a dilemma of 
bondage does the Masonic oath bring its 
hapless subjects. To keep that oath is to 
make himself particeps criminis in murder or 
treason, or any other crime, and to stain his 
soul with the guilt of perjury. And yet the 
true Mason will be almost sure to prefer the 
double guilt of screening a criminal from 


justice and perjuring his soul, rather than 
deny the validity of the sinful obligation by 
which Satan has brought him into bondage. 
This is not the only case in which the Mason's 
oath conflicts squarely with right and duty, 
and binds him, if that were possible, to com- 
mit positive sin. He is sworn in some de- 
grees to warn a brother of approaching danger 
(e. g., a criminal of the approach of the sher- 
iff, rebels in arms of the approach of the 
loyal forces): " To aid a brother when engaged 
in any difficulty" " to espouse his cause so as 
to extricate him, if in my power, whether he 
be right or wrong." If this is not the Devil's 
bond, I would be willing to give him a carte 
blanche and let him do his worst. " Oh," but 
says the Mason, " these obligations refer only 
to worthy brethren, and don't bind us to 
screen bad men or to help them in any evil." 
That seems to me a very weak sophism. 
What has a truly just man to do with having 
secrets kept for him respecting murder or 
treason or any other crime ? What need has 
a good man to have you espouse his cause so 
as to extricate him, whether he be right or 
wrong ? The just have no need of these 
benefits ; they are meant, therefore, for the 
unjust, and can be meant for no other. The 
truth is, that in Masonic phrase the worthy 
Mason is one who keeps his oaths and pays 
his dues. Then whatever difficulty he gets 


into, "by whatever crime, his brethren of the 
mystic tie are bound to stand by him and 
help him out, if in their power. And if this 
is not to be in league with the Devil, what is 
it ? And so some of them in the higher 
degrees are sworn to commit murder, by sac- 
rificing the traitors of Masonry, and in the 
lower degrees they are taught the same by 
implication and indirection. But this is so 
cautiously and artfully put forth that the 
honest and well disposed in the lodges don't 
exactly so understand it, and the leaders 
don't want they should, for fear of revolt 
among the conscientious portion; therefore 
we are often told that the men who murdered 
Morgan were bad Masons, and we must not 
judge the institution by them — bad or stupid 
men, who took a joke in earnest and carried 
it quite too far. And then we are told " the 
best societies sometimes have bad members — 
there are bad men in the church, and that's 
true — good and bad everywhere, and that's 
true — and it is a blessed thing to be char- 
itable." But charity is not a fool. In the 
church of Christ the institution is better than 
the members, but in the lodge the members 
are better than the institution. And I never 
could doubt, and can't to-day, that the men 
who murdered Morgan were more consistent 
as Masons than those who condemn them. 
That act of abduction and murder was the 


consistent carrying out of Masonic principles 
and obligations to their legitimate results. 
It wasn't so much the poor man who lately- 
deposed on his dying bed in the city of Ra- 
cine, that with his own hand he pushed Mor- 
gan into the Niagara river that did it, as it 
was the order and institution of Masonry 
itself. He and his assistants were the faith- 
ful servants and true exponents of the mystic 
order, only they failed in the vital matter of 
perpetual secrecy. Most grievous unmasonic 
conduct that. Hence they are branded as bad 
Masons — u a mob of excited Masons" so their 
Masonic historian styles them, showing that, 
Spartan-like, the Masons do not punish for 
crime, but only for getting found out. Vi- 
olating secrecy, or failing in it, seems to be 
the unpardonable sin with Masonry. 

IV. Of the many false pretenses which I 
found in Masonry, I have time barely to 
mention a few, and not to prove and illustrate 
them as I could wish. 1st. They claim the 
most hoary antiquity, going back to the ages 
of myth and fable, where the memory of man 
runneth not to the contrary. The mayor of 
Chicago had the hardihood to put forth this 
idea at the laying of the corner-stone of their 
water works lately, and their spread eagle 
orators indulge so much in this glittering 
twaddle that charity would fain hope they 
believe it ; while yet the finger index of his 


tory points infallibly to 1717 as the period 
of the origin of speculative Masonry. It is 
not as old by a century as the Plymouth Col- 
ony, and the book of Mormon proves Mor- 
mon antiquity as clearly as the Masons can 
prove theirs. Consequently, all they say 
about Enoch and Solomon and John the 
Baptist being Masons, and their having a key 
to certain portions of the Bible, which none 
but Masons have, is found to be a cheat, and 
such a cheat as partakes of both hypocrisy 
and sacrilege, as well as fraud. 2d. They 
made great pretenses of being possessed of 
valuable mysteries of knowledge, of science 
and arts. But in this respect I found their 
archives and arcana to be as barren as Sahara. 
As to any valuable information, any wiginal 
idea, historical, scientific, moral or religious, 
they have absolutely none. All its stores 
would not be a perceptible increase to the 
stock of knowledge in an infant class in a 
common school. These things may perhaps 
be looked upon as small or indifferent mat- 
ters, but I have always supposed any false 
pretense clearly made out, is the brand of the 
impostor or the swindler. 3d. Then there is 
the claim par excellence of relief and charity. 
Here they boast themselves superior to every- 
thing that is called great or good, I had 
almost said in earth or heaven, and yet I 
found them absolutely perverting and destroy- 


ing the vital idea of practical benevolence as 
taught by Christ. Their teachings and prac- 
tice tend but to blot out the light of that 
heaven-born idea from the world and restore 
the midnight of supreme selfishness. For 
Paul teaches that a man may give his goods 
to feed the j30or to any extent, and have not 
charity; and Christ tells us that publicans 
and sinners do good and lend to each other 
to receive as much again, and are entitled to 
no praise. And this is all the Masons do or 
teach, as Masons, and they don't do any such 
vast amount of that as to impoverish them- 
selves very materially. All they bestow in 
the way of relief is what the receiver has 
bought at a fair bargain with his money, and 
even of such relief neither Masons nor Odd 
Fellows use a greater per centage of their 
vast incomes (and their published reports 
will prove it) — in such mock benevolence, 
than fishermen do for bait. And I am not 
uncharitable in saying both are done for the 
same purpose — to catch gudgeons. These 
orders do not exist for the sake of relief, but 
relief is bestowed for the sake of the orders. 
Talk about the benevolence of the order to- 
wards the needy ! Talk of this as the object 
of the order, when no conceivable scheme 
which human foresight can devise is omitted 
to keep as many who are likely ever to want 
relief* from the order as possible. All the 


feebler sex, all the minors, all the infirm and 
crippled, all the enslaved, all the aged, all 
who are poor, and not likely to be otherwise 
— none are received who seem likely to come 
to want. And all who come in pay a stipu- 
lated premium for a right to a dividend if 
want should overtake them, and it may be 
one in fifty or a hundred claims his purchased 
dividend. And the payment of this with a 
great flourish of trumpets is called benevo- 
lence. I do not wish to undervalue any sums 
which these orders may pay to the needy ; 
but I say that to call this benevolence, is false 
teaching. They are not benevolent insti- 
tutions. In no human institution is selfish- 
ness more fully incarnated and intensified 
than in these very institutions. If I was ever 
certain of anything, I became certain that the 
true idea of benevolence never had a place in 
Freemasonry, or has utterly perished from it 
if it had. Benevolence is not its object. 
What is it ? I will tell you in one word — 
Favoritism, This is not one of their secrets, 
it is rather one of their most effective boasts. 
And this I own is not wholly a vain boast. 
It is as truthful as Satan's offer of the whole 
world to Christ, and is substantially the same 
proposal. Nor should they regard it as an 
accusation from me, since themselves glory in 
the substance if not in the name — albeit, in 
so doing they glory in their shame. " Cast 


in your lot with us," say they, "we will all 
have one purse, we'll help you to social posi- 
tion, to business, to office. We'll relieve your 
necessities, we'll aid you in your law suits. 
We'll beat back your enemies and extricate 
you rroni trouble. You must join us if you 
expect to do anything ; you can't do anything 
if you don't." I don't say that these preten- 
sions are altogether false. But I do say that 
if they are true, they ought to sink the insti- 
tution into deeper damnation than if they 
were false. If a man cannot achieve the 
success in life he deserves, by honesty, and 
skill and industry, without selling himself to 
these secret orders, and himself paying the 
purchase money, it is because they conspire 
to prevent him, by neglect, or even by act- 
ively diverting the good which he merits 
from him, and conferring it upon others 
because they belong to their caste and clan. 
If the one in whose favor this diversion is 
made is equally worthy as a man, he can get 
on without this favoritism. If he is not as 
worthy, it implies injustice of very especial 
meanness. In either case I charge that if 
Masonry makes its promise of favoritism 
good, it is guilty of an unjust aud contempt- 
ible interference with the business of its 
neighbors. And he's a mighty mean man 
who will either justify such favoritism, or 
seek or accept its benefits. It is not only a 


mean interference with other folk's business 
but it is a wicked interference with God's 
plan and law for the government of human 
society. " If thou doest well, shalt thou not 
be accepted ?" God's impartial law of human 
rights enacts that, in the race and competi- 
tion of life, every one shall have a fair and 
equal chance ; and men have re-enacted it in 
the proverb, " Fair play is the jewel." A 
just weight and a just measure, and the same 
to every one. According to his worth, shall 
be thy love ; according to what thou receiv- 
est shall be thy payment ; according to his 
merit, thy meed of honor ; according to his 
necessities (not his pass-word), thy charity. 
Man's chief end, as God appointed it, is to 
glorify God and do good to his fellow men 
impartially. Masonry's chief end is slyly to 
gain control of the governments and religions 
of the whole world, and parcel out the chief 
benefits of both among the fraternity ; always 
remembering that outsiders have no rights 
which they are bound to respect, only in so 
far as they may have men's persons in admi- 
ration because of advantage. In civil mat- 
ters this is the way they operate. With the 
slyness of a cat and the cunning of a fox 
they monopolize the chief offices. Having 
gained office by favoritism, they use it for the 
exercise of favoritism. The magistrate will 
refuse a warrant against a brother Mason ; 


or if the case be so clear that he dare not do 
that, he will get before the sheriff and inform 
him of "the approaching danger P The sher- 
iff observing the hailing sign of distress will 
fail to see the man that made it ; or witnesses 
will be absent from the stand, or refuse to 
testify to the whole truth ; or the judge will 
rule out the evidence that would convict ; or 
the juror will " espouse his cause so as to 
extricate him from his difficulty ;" or the 
jailor will forget to take out his key when he 
locks up ; or the executive will pardon — and 
thus justice will be frustrated. Your Jeff. 
Davises will go free, your Johnsons cannot 
be impeached, truth will be strangled in our 
streets, and equity cannot enter, and judg- 
ment will be turned into hemlock, and society, 
law and government will exist, not equally 
for all, but mainly for a caste. I do not slan- 
der Masons when I say of the leaders they 
are as much bent on ruling as ever the slave- 
holders were. If they were as of)en and bold 
about it, I should fear them less and respect 
them more than I do. But before a secret 
conspiracy, whose rights are safe, and what 
is our defence ? It is a leopard watching the 
gates — it is a snake in the grass. I know 
they claim to have nothing to do with poli- 
tics. That is only another of their false pre- 
tenses. They swear their higher Masons to 
promote a brother Masons' " political prefer- 


ment in preference to another of equal quali- 
fications." And this oath they intend shall 
be, and it is, a far-reaching instrument of 
political power. By it the high masons cal- 
culate to control, nolens volens, the political 
influence of the whole fraternity, and thus 
the nation, and make their grand command- 
ers most puissant in fact as well as in title. 
And yet I believe I should let all this pass 
in silence, if it were not for one thing more, 
which I consider worse than all the things I 
have alleged against Masonry put together. 
V. And that is its position on Religion. 
I am aware that Masonic authorities are not 
clear as to what that position is. One will 
tell you that it is not a religious institution 
at all, but if a man lives up to it he'll be 
about as good as the best. Another, that it 
is a £oocl enough religion for him. Another, 
that a man cannot be a true Mason and not 
a true Christian ; and another will not scruple 
to declare that it is ahead of the churches, 
and if he can belong to but one, it shall be 
the lodge. I leave it to others to tread the 
mazes of ambiguity and contradiction which 
abound in Masonic authorities, oral and writ- 
ten on this point — only remarking, that this 
very incertitude and diversity argues any- 
thing but a frank, honest and desirable po- 
sition. My object is simply to testify to 
what I know and believe. I believe that 


the great mass of Masons, by which I mean 
those who really in their hearts approve of 
Masonry, do make a religion of it. Neither 
have I any doubt that it is, in theory and in 
practice, and in God s estimate, a religion. 
But as such, it is a false religion, and who- 
ever relies upon it misses the only salvation 
and loses his soul. 

This objection to Masonry will be derided 
as foolishness by those who look upon all 
religions alike, because they have true faith 
in none. To them there may be Lords many 
and Gods many, whose being and whose 
religions and whose followers are entitled to 
the same regard and fellowship. But to us 
there is but one God and one Mediator, Jesus 
Christ ; neither is there salvation in any 
other. This is the one grand absorbing 
issue between the true religion and all the 
other religions and philosophies of the world. 
" I am God," says Jehovah, " and there is 
none else." Hence follows with most logical 
consistency, " Thou shalt have no other Gods 
before me;" i. <?., before my face or in my 
sight. Next, thou shalt have no fellowship 
with those that have. "What agreement 
hath the temple of God with idols \ What 
concord hath Christ with Belial ? or what 
part hath he that belie veth with an infidel V 
This is fundamental to Christianity. What, 
is the fundamental principle and practice of 


Free-Masonry ? Just the reverse. Its theory 
is in perfect accord with that transcendental 
and pantheistic philosophy, so called, which 
maintains that whatever in all the world is 
called God is God, and by whatever codes 
obeyed, by whatever forms worshipped, that 
obedience and that worship are to be respected 
as true religion, and its votaries to be fellow- 
shiped — Christian or Mahometan, Jew or Pa- 
gan, all the same. That is substantially the Ma- 
sonic theory of the identity of all religions, 
and of all Masons worshiping the same God. 
Herein consists the sublimity of Masonic tol- 
eration. This is the foundation principle of 
Masonry, and I beg you to note that it is 
exactly the reverse of what we have stated 
as the fundamental principle of Christianity. 
It is not a disagreement in non-essentials, but 
direct antagonism of fundamental principles. 
What Masonry teaches on these vital points, 
Christianity denies; what Masonry enjoins 
Christianity forbids. It is right on this fund- 
amental issue that the battle is joined, and 
on this line it will be fought out, if it takes 
the whole period of the world's continuance. 
The question is not whether our religion is 
true, (that is conceded in this controversy) 
but whether it is the only one that is time. 
The poor Indian says, " The Great Spirit has 
given a book religion to the white man ; good 
religion for white man. He has given a dif- 


ferent religion to the red man, that's best for 
Indian." The old Romans would have placed 
a statue of Christ in their pantheon, had his 
disciples consented to his receiving such hon- 
or. They would have worshipped him in 
company with Mars, and Hercules, and Mi- 
nerva, Jupiter and the rest. But as this was 
rejected as utterly disgraceful and abhorrent 
by his disciples, they felt themselves justified 
in exterminating such an insufferably intoler- 
ant and pestilent sect. What the Romans 
offered, all the world would offer to-day, and 
the worshippers of the Grand Architect would 
applaud the liberality of Christians in accept- 
ing it. But they are just as exclusive and 
intolerant as ever, and have no thought of 
anything but absolute victory over all oppos- 
ing religions and systems, and the complete 
concpest of the entire world. According to 
Josephus, the worshippers of Baal at Peor 
Said to the Israelites whom they enticed to 
their feasts, " Seeing you have come to our 
country you ought to worship the Gods of 
the country, especially as your God is so exclu- 
sive and peculiar that he belongs to but one 
little nation, while our God is common to 
every nation" and the Israelites who were 
beguiled by this specious boasting said to 
Moses, "you may enjoy your narrow and 
tyrannical bigotry, but you shall not impose 
it upon us." We will be free to gather our 


knowledge from all people and do that which 
is agreeable to our own minds. What con- 
scious freedom ! What large mindedness ! 
What liberality was that ! And is not that 
just about the position and the spirit of Free- 
masonry now ? Her God is common to all 
people ; or rather, she accepts the Gods of all 
people, conceding whatever favors they de- 
mand, having really no God of her own, only 
a certain impalpable abstraction which she 
imagines to be the substratum or essence of 
all Gods, and so may be all things to all peo- 
ple, and nothing in particular. But the ways 
of this harlot, like all others, u are movable." 
And so among Christians, she carries the 
idea that the God she worships is their God, 
and the Bible she takes as her guide is the 
book of the Christian law. But in Arabia, 
it is the Koran ; in India, the Shasters ; in 
China, the works of Confucius; in Salt 
Lake, the book of Mormon. So that when 
she speaks of God and the Holy Bible the 
meaning is ambiguous, depending wholly 
upon the latitude and longitude, or the intent 
or mental reservations of the speaker. 

Thus Baal of old meant God in general, 
without specifying any one in particular. Just 
the best type to represent the Masonic pan- 
theistic abstraction. And I have come to the 
settled conviction that the leaven of Pagan 
philosophy which crept secretly into the 


camp of Israel and taught the children of 
Jacob to swear by Baal, is at this day creep- 
ing into the churches and teaching Christians 
to swear by the same Deity. It is really 
Baal worship under a new name and with 
new rites. 'What else can it be, when the 
Christian and the Jew, the Mahometan and 
the Tartar, the Mormon and the Savage, the 
infidel and the Dervish meet together " on 
the square," profess their common trust in 
God and bow together in worship of God. 
What God do they worship ? Is it the God 
of the Christian or of the pagan ? Of the 
Fire worshipper or of the Devil worshipper ? 
What God is there in all the realms of being 
or of fancy whom they all can worship ex- 
cept it be that same ancient abstraction 
which the Orientals called Baal, and the 
Masons call the Grand Architect ? For bear 
in mind, Masons always claim that there is 
nothing anomolous or incongruous in the 
union of all sorts of religionists under heaven 
in their worship, because whoever they are 
or whatever they are, Mahometan, Jew or 
Pagan, they all worship the same God. But 
what God is it ? Of one thing all men may 
be certain — our God accepts no such dubious 
homage. I dare apply to such a crowd the 
words of Paul and say we know that the 
things which these mystically affiliated Gen: 
tiles ''sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils and not 


to God." They do not worship Christ, for in 
the case just supposed, either they know 
nothing of him or they reject and despise 
him. And, moreover, Masons can never con- 
sistently worship Christ, since a large portion 
of them, e. g., Arabs, Jews, Pagans and infi- 
dels, reject him, they, must all refrain from 
worshiping him ; or they cannot " all worship 
the same God." And not only this, but the 
highest Masonic authorities lay it down as a 
rule not to be questioned or disregarded, that 
' that to offer prayer in the name of Christ] 
i. e., in Masonic assemblies, Hs contrary to the 
universality of Masonry.'' And that is cer- 
tainly so. Masonic worship is therefore of 
necessity, constructed upon the principle of 
deliberately ignoring Christ. Just put a 
mark here and pause to settle in your mind 
two questions. 1st. . Can a Christian, know- 
ing this fact, join in Masonic worship or fel- 
lowship the institution without as really 
denying his Lord in the Masonic assembly as 
Peter did in the Hall of Caiaphas ? 2d. Can 
regular Masonic worship be anything but a 
contemning of Christ and an insulting of his 
Father; for has not the Father testified of 
Jesus, " this is my beloved son, hear ye him?" 
And has not the Son said, " No man cometh 
to the Father but by me,' • but whatsoever 
ye shall ask the Father in my name He will 
give it you." ' And yet, here is an order 


claiming to be an handmaid of religion, a 
landmark of Christianity, claiming to teach 
its members " how to adore their God, how 
to live, and how to die in the fond immortal 
hope" of heaven, and yet has enough of a 
whores forehead to teach, and to insist that to 
offer prayer in their assemblies in the name 
of Christ is contrary to its universality. — 
Thank God its universality is a dream never 
to be realized. It does not relieve Masonry 
here to say no disrespect of Christ is intend- 
ed but merely to frame a pure worship of 
Deity, in which all may join who believe in 
a God ; and that in doing this she is entirely 
impartial, treating Christian peculiarities in 
no other way than the necessities of the sys- 
tem render imperative, in no other way than 
she does those of all other religionists. That's 
just what we complain of, treating the 
worlds only, mediator and Savior, just as she 
does the abominations of the heathen ; treat- 
ing Jesus just as she does Juggernaut, except 
when her bland impartiality is upset by 
Christ's inexorable demand to reign sole and 
triumphant over all. Then comes out the 
spiteful "crush the wretch," showing that the 
remarkable absence of the very name of 
Jesus in all her prayers and liturgies and 
religious teachings is not the result of igno- 
rance or forgetfulness, but of the necessi- 
ties of a system deliberately at war with the 


claims and dominion of Christ. And for 
Masonry still to pretend friendship to Chris- 
tianity is only to carry on that war with the 
cowardice and treachery of a pirate when he 
hoists the flag of his victim. Strange that 
men are so slow to learn that the very nature 
of Christ's claims renders the least neutrality 
impossible. No individual nor association 
can touch the matter of divine worship and 
not be positively for Christ or positively 
against him. And that sublime toleration 
which affects the same friendship for Jesus 
and for Mahomet has so nearly reached the 
limit of abuse that to add cursing him and 
spitting on him would be merely an unessen- 
tial accident. Nor will it help Masonry to 
plead that in some degrees of Knighthood 
she enjoins fidelity to Christ, even to fighting 
for his cross with carnal weapons to the 
death. That was the mere chivalry of the 
crusades, and per contra she inculcates upon 
the knights of the Eagle, or of the Sun, the 
most unblushing and bitter infidelity — " Out 
of the same mouth proceedeth both blessing 
and cursing." " The moveable ways" again. 
For surely the institution that inculcates such 
contradictory views of Christ and his religion 
' is no true friend of either. And I repeat, 
Masonry is Christless and it don't disprove 
this to plead that her chaplains often pray 
extempore and pray in the Masonic assembly 


just as they do in the church ; for if they do 
this and pray to Christ or through him 
they act disorderly and outrage every Jewish 
or pagan or infidel Mason ; yes, every myst- 
ical brother who regards consistency and 
does not like to have the fundamental princi- 
ple of the body trampled upon. But every 
Christian praying in a Masonic assembly must 
commit this outrage or else he must disown 
his Saviour and be guilty of that presump- 
tion before God which brought down con- 
suming fire upon Nadab and Abihu. A 
dilemma from which he can escape only by 
withdrawing from the institution. Nor does 
it clear Masonry of this charge of being 
Christless, that in some of her canonical 
prayers she even teaches her members to ask 
the Grand Architect to pardon them for his 
Son's sake. This at first has a Christian 
sound. But see again "the movable ways." 
While this may delude the Christian, there 
is no necessity of its becoming an offence to 
the infidel, the pagan or the Jew. For was 
not Saturn the son of Chronos ? and Jupiter 
the son of Saturn ? and Mercury the son of 
Jupiter? And was not Adam the son of 
God ? and what God in all the world has not 
his son ? And since the Grand Architect is 
neither this God nor that one, but every one 
or any one, or no one of all known or un- 
known Gods, just according to circumstances, 


Masonry is in no wise compromised or com- 
mitted to Jesus of Nazareth by any such 
prayers. After all I still affirm that in all 
her official prayers, in all her liturgies, in all 
her recorded hopes of a resurrection and of 
heaven she has no clear or designed 
recognition in his true character of Him who 
is the resurrection and the life, whose name 
is above every name, whom all heaven adores 
and all saints love more than words can tell. 
Nor will it relieve Masonry of the charge 
of hostility to Christ and his religion for its 
friends to say, "We do not make Masonic 
worship a substitute for the duties or worship 
of the Church. If Christian duties or prayer 
meetings detain our members from the lodge 
we always accept it as a good excuse. We 
certainly wish them to be faithful and exem- 
plary in all their church relations." This is 
the old and general policy of the seducers of 
God's people into any idolatrous worship. 
O yes, worship the Lord to be sure, but then, 
if you show a little respect to Malchum, too, 
w^hat harm? Just occasionally — -just for 
once — -just go and see others do it, any how, 
it pays you know." No doubt the Tempter 
would have plied the Saviour with this kind 
of persuasion, if in quoting the commandment 
he had stopped with simply saying " Thou 
shalt worship the Lord thy God." Certain- 
ly, by all means, Satan w r ould have said, 


But only just bow down this once and wor- 
ship me, and I will give thee all the king- 
doms of the world ; and then honor God with 
your power, worship him as much as you 
please. But Christ did not stop there. He 
came down upon the tempter with an em- 
phatic utterance of the last clause, " and Him 
only shalt thou serve" and that shut his 
mouth. Small thanks are due to Masonry 
for her consent, so graciously tendered her 
members, to worship at both altars, hers and 
Christ's The consent is worthless, for we 
ask no leave of man or angel to worship at 
Christ's altar. And Christ's leave to his 
children to worship at any other altar is per- 
emptorily denied. "Hini only; Him only 
shalt thou serve." 

This remarkable avoidance of the very 
name of the World's Redeemer is no acci- 
dent, but marks a deep design of such sig- 
nificance as should impel every lover of Jesus 
to say, with prompt and unalterable purpose, 
the institution that has no place for my 
Saviour has no place for me. Its basis is 
naked Deism. Its worship is unchristian. 
The false code of honor is its moral law. In 
a word, when carefully analyzed, it is found 
to bear, in its vain pomps and boastings, in 
its oaths and false pretenses, in its positive 
Christlessness, and its deeds of favoritism and 
of murder, every mark which might define a 


disguised institution of the Prince of dark- 
ness. The worst delusion of all is that by 
which unregenerated souls are led to indulge 
the vain hope, that through the solemn serv- 
ices of its beautiful ritualistic formalism and 
the practice of its spurious virtues of self- 
righteous morality and Chivalry — the filthy 
rags of legal righteousness, they shall reach 
heaven. One fall draught of this sweet de- 
lusion, this circean cup, and publicans and 
harlots go into the kingdom of God before 
this Masonic moralist. 

In vain you warn ; in vain you invite. He 
heeds not the heavenly charmers — charming 
never so wisely. O, my Saviour, pity these 
fascinated sinners ; say not of them all, "they 
are joined to their idols — let them alone." 

The Christian who adheres to these lodges 
usually loses his spirituality, if he ever had 
any, and is lost to the church on earth if not 
in heaven. "He did not know that I gave him 
corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied his 
silver and gold, which they prepared for 
Baal." Oh how much of Christ's time and 
influence, and means, are squandered upon 
these strange delusive systems by his pro- 
fessed Mend? Sacrificed on altars, even pol- 
luted and smoking with human blood. — - 
" Saviour, forgive them, they know not what 
they do." I have spoken mostly of Free- 
masonry in these remarks. If it be not clear 


that every Christian should abstain from all 
fellowship of this institution as from an un- 
clean thing that cannot be touched without 
spiritual defilement, then nothing is clear. 
Odd fellowship I esteem but little better, 
indeed no better, only, perhaps, not quite so 
mature in badness. The secret Temperance 
Orders I do not accuse of the same heresy 
and corruption or anti-Christian guile as yet. 
But I must fear and believe that in their organ- 
ized perpetual secrecy there lurks the same ele- 
mental mischief in embryo. It is a seed, or 
an egg y now, but in it is wrapped up the 
seminal principle of evil which one day will 
develop the Upas or the Serpent. Besides, 
they are unintentionally, in most instances, I 
hope, but none the less hurtfully for that — 
the tools of Freemasonry, its pioneers and 
armor bearers, without whose help Freema- 
sonry could never have become again what 
it is at this day. They are its primary and 
Sunday schools ; or, to borrow a comparison 
from their own specialty, they sustain to 
Freemasonry a relation like that of beer to 
brandy. It is useless to condemn one while 
you use the other. The only effectual remedy 
for this virulent moral intoxication of Secret- 
ism, as for intemperance is, Total Abstinence, 



The following extracts from letters to the Con- 
vention will serve to show how it was hailed from 
all parts of the Northern States, and disclose a una- 
nimity of sentiment that intimates the working of 
one all-prevading spirit, and that the time for a gen- 
eral movement has come, and God is in it: 

Rev. W. W. Ames, writes from Dunn Co., Wis : 
" I am rejoiced that such a call as brings you to- 
gether has sounded over the land. * To 
my mind, it 'is as the rallying trumpet of Divine 
Providence, summoning the children of light to an 
onset against the unfruitful works of darkness.' 
* * Christianity has nothing to cover up. It is 
the light of the world in the persons of the disciples 
and churches of Jesus Christ. They are not the 
children of the night nor of darkness, but the child- 
ren of light, and are commanded to let their light so 
shine that others seeing their good works, may glo- 
rify their Father who is in heaven. Therefore, all 
societies requiring oaths of secrecy are, in my opin- 
ion, anti-christian in the nature of the case, and tend 
to cripple and nullify the influence of Christianity in 
the world, and to supplant the church of God. 
Hence, with regard to the duty of the churches con- 
cerning them I frankly assert that they should wise- 
ly, but firmly and persistantly, discountenance them, 


not tolerating Freemasonry for an hour, and prop- 
erly exposing the nature and tendency of all others 
as auxiliary and tributary to Freemasonry, and show- 
ing to the younger members especially a more ex- 
cellent way of doing good than by joining hands 
with the ungodly, in secret conclave, under cover 
of darkness and the penalties of an oath. Hence, 
the church of which I am pastor (Baptist) has in its 
record-book a by-law refusing membership to any 
active Mason who shall refuse to promise that he 
will cease further active co-operation with the order." 

Prof. John Morgan, of Oberlin, O., writes : 
" The discussion respecting Masonry still goes 
on here, Prest. Finney preached very ably on the 
subject, reading copious extracts from ' Bernard's 
Light on Masonry,' the substantial correctness of 
which, with regard to the first three degrees, he at- 
tested from his own personal knowledge. I cannot 
well express the interest I feel in this subject. 
There are, no doubt, large numbers of good men 
members of the Masonic order, though to me it is a 
matter of astonishment that it should be so. We 
must look at the fact as it is, and make wise and 
loving efforts to rescue our brethren and the thou- 
sands of our countrymen and neighbors who are 
entangled in an institution, of the nature of which 
they are probably no more aware than slaveholders 
and other defenders of slavery were aware of the 
character of that curse of our land. We must pre- 
pare for misconstruction and bitter persecution, 
much of it to proceed from good but blinded men, 
to whom their secret society is as the apple of their 
eye. * * Much will depend upon the spirit 
with which we conduct the controversy, the tem- 
perance as well as the zeal in our management of the 
case ; on our dealing little in hard words and much 
in hard arguments and fraternal persuasions. It 
seems to me that at the present time it is much 


more important to enlighten the church and the 
nation on the subject of secret societies than to de- 
termine what the churches ought to do with en- 
tangled members and candidates. If the light is 
made strong enough, the entangled, if truly good 
men, will generally rescue themselves without the 
help of disciplinary measures, and the enlightened 
must manifest a spirit of patience and fraternal con- 

Rev. Wm. Dillon, Butler Co., O., writes : 
" Dear Brethren and Friends — 
" To you I send greetings. I congratulate you 
upon the purpose for which the Convention is as- 
sembled, and bid you God speed in devising meas- 
ures to stay the plague of secrecy. The church 
with which I stand connected, namely, the United 
Brethren in Christ, numbering 100,000 communi- 
cants, positively forbids the admission to member- 
ship any who are connected with secret societies." 

The venerable Father Dodge, of Milburn, 111., now 
in his 85th year, and nearly blind, but seeing clear- 
ly, sent us the following brief but weighty testimony: 

" Whilst I have nothing but kind feelings toward 
members of secret societies, I am opposed to them, 
especially the Masonic, because so far as my ob- 
servation has extended, their influence on the spirit- 
ual interests, both of individuals and communities, 
is bad. I believe they are among the obstacles 
that must be removed before the kingdoms of this 
world will all become the kingdom of Christ." 

Rev. J. G. Schoaff, of Big Spring, Pa., writes: 
"As a Christian minister I have been pained to 
see the intoxication now so prevalent in the country, 
on the subject of secret societies, and I have a con- 
fidence that God will yet destroy it. My opposition 
to these societies arises from a thorough conviction 
of their deistical character." 


Letter from the Editor of the American Baptist, 
New York city : 

" I was truly rejoiced to learn that you had called 
an anti-Masonic Convention in Aurora, to consider 
the subject of secret societies and their relation to 
the churches. Were it not so far I should have 
been glad of an opportunity to attend such a Con- 
vention, but as it is, must be content with wishing 
you God speed in your very difficult but very neces- 
sary effort. Freemasonry is swallowing us up. It 
governs in church and state. The last church in this 
city belonging to the denomination with which I 
am connected, that has resolutely stood out till this 
time against the admission of adhering Masons, has 
now thrown the gate open, and contents itself with 
merely placing on its records a recommendation to 
withdraw from the institution. Even this slight 
protest will not be allowed to remain long. 

" I have sent you by mail a few numbers of our 
paper, in which the subject has been discussed, and 
hope you will receive them before your meeting. 
Please notice what is said about the source from 
which Elder Bernard obtained the higher and most 
obnoxious degrees. I have evidence for the facts 
I state, duly signed by the responsible parties, that 
the copy from which Bernard's degrees were taken 
was in Dr. Dalceo's own handwriting, and was the 
official document in the hands of the proper author- 
ities of the 32d and 33d degrees. Masons are en- 
deavoring to narrow us down to the first three de- 
grees, pretending that the upper degrees are not 
real Masonry, We must not let them thus deceive 
. us. The high degrees are the real ones — those for 
which the lower are made. The high Masons, and 
not the low ones, control the order. Anti-Masons 
are often led astray by buying a bogus book called 
" Morgan's Freemasonry Exposed," &c. — a work 
which is on many of the bookstands in New York, 


through the influence of Masons, while not a genuine 
book like Bernard or Stearns is to be seen anywhere. 
The spurious book is made up of the three degrees 
which Morgan published, given correctly, and then 
four others in which the oaths are thrown out, and 
their places supplied by a few unmeaning affirma- 
tions ; the whole character of the degrees are chang- 
ed, and the whole winds up with a confession of 
Morgan that he never was a real Mason ! Thousands 
buy these books, and seeing how different the de- 
grees are from Bernard, and thinking that Morgan 
wrote them, give up the search in despair, suppo- 
sing that Bernard, Stearns, Morgan and all are in 
irreconcilable contradiction. 

"I hope you will call a National Convention, as 
suggested, and that it will be a general one, not 
merely religious, but taking the subject in all its 
bearings, and invite all real anti-Masons of whatever 
sect or name, to unite ; and if you could form a reg- 
ular society, and establish a newspaper organ, it 
would be of great advantage. The common relig- 
ious papers cannot meet the gigantic evil if they 
would, and alas ! too many of them would not if 
they could. We have contended against it in our 
paper, notwithstanding it has cost us thousands of 
subscribers and crippled us in our general mission- 
ary operations, and I trust we have done something 
towards checking the evil, but it is a work that can- 
not be accomplished by one or two religious papers. 
There must be a regular organization, with a special 
organ to meet the giant evil in an effectual manner." 

It may here be stated, instead of giving the words 
of the several correspondents, that with entire una- 
nimity they declare in favor of a National Conven- 

The letter of Hon. Aaron "White, of Rhode Island, 
did not arrive in season to be read in the Conven- 


tion, but its testimony is too valuable to be left 

"Dear Brother — Your letter of October 28th, 
enclosing a letter from Dr. Blanchard of October 
22d, was received by me on the 31st ult. — of course 
too late for an answer to reach the Aurora Conven- 
tion in due season: 

" In the warfare against the institution of Free- 
masonry, which took place in 1826 and 1832, you 
and I felt quite an interest. The result of that con- 
flict was such that I thought, and still think, that the 
old monster Freemasonry was killed. It certainly 
lay motionless for a number of years. Its lodges 
were nearly all disbanded, their halls were sold, and 
their jewels and gewgaws scattered as curiosities. 
Their special regimentals were given in part as 
second-hand clothing to the Odd Fellows, while the 
remnants were patched 'into tinsel garments and 
used by some of our fanciful college boys. 

Recently, however, attempts have been made, by 
a new generation, to re-enter and resuscitate the old 
forsaken carcass, and some are fearful that, like the 
Demoniac of old, the last state of Freemasonry will 
be worse than the lirst. As an old soldier in the 
conflict, I have felt some interest in the movement, 
and kept watch, and I must say that the present ac- 
tion of Freemasonry has no more resemblance to its 
former action than do the contortions of a galvanized 
carcass to the regular motions of natural vitality. 
The addition of a few more years gives to us two 
a great advantage over our younger friends in this 
matter. We remember what Freemasonry once was, 
when its churches were in every village and its mem- 
bers included a majority of the wealth and influence 
of community. At that time, the world without, and 
its votaries within the walls of the lodge, believed 
that the institution was possessed of certain ineffable 
secrets known only to the initiated, and by them seen 


but dimly, whose talismanic power gave protection 
to the humblest Mason, similar to that afforded by 
the charms of the Northmen, the relics of the Cath- 
olic, the amulets of the Mahometans, and the med- 
icine bags of our Western Indians. Under this im- 
agination the institution of Freemasonry was cer- 
tainly feared by all. 

" During the searching ordeal of the Morgan ex- 
citement, Freemasonry was thoroughly analyzed. 
Its character, its constitution, its mysteries, its se- 
crets, and all that it had, for good or ill, was opened 
to the eye of the world ; and not only to the world, 
but Freemasons themselves had a better opportunity 
of seeing what Freemasonry actually was than they 
ever had before. At that time Rhode Island was the 
Mecca of Masonry. It was the seat of the beast, and 
on that seat it received the deadliest blows, for in 
Rhode Island the institution was by legislative ac- 
tion, subjected to legal investigation, in which the 
secrets and constitution of the society were brought 
forward by its highest officers. These officers then 
swore that these revealed secrets were all that they 
had ever known, and I believe they swore to the 
truth, for their testimony was published and has 
never been contradicted. 

" Most men of the present generation have, I think, 
a very imperfect idea of the true character of the 
Morgan excitement. By most it is regarded as a 
temporary ebullition of popular frenzy — a kind of a 
crusade. This is a great mistake. William Mor- 
gan, a member of the Masonic society, published a 
small book in which were disclosed some of the se- 
crets of the order, and by so doing exposed himself 
to certain Masonic penalties. These penalties some 
misguided Masons undertook to enforce, and actu- 
ally did enforce, by the instrumentality of legal 
forms and civil process. Now, in all civil society, 
legal forms and civil processes are regarded as things 


sacred, and this monstrous perversion of them, to 
effect a purpose for which they were never intended, 
was looked upon as a kind of sacrilege, and justly 
aroused the indignation of every one. The excite- 
ment ran like fire, and never stopped until the institu- 
tion in whose behalf the crime had been committed, 
was completely overthrown. I verily believe that a 
large portion of the then Masonic society in our free 
States were as much pleased to see it fall as the rest of 
the world. They saw the danger of having this Mor- 
gan case as a precedent. It changed the nature of 
their terrible oaths. By the aid of civil process these 
horribly constructed scarecrows became living de- 
mons, of whom they were to become the first victims. 

"The Masonic society still exists in name, and 
other secret societies are among us. The Masonic 
society has its signs, passwords and means of recog- 
nition, and so have other secret associations ; but I 
do not see that the Masonic society, in its present 
condition, is entitled to more jealousy than any other 
secret society using the same machinery. In my 
opinion, all secret combinations of men have a dan- 
gerous tendency. Public opinion is one of God's 
great checks, restraining the evil propensities of man- 
kind. Everything calculated to weaken this restrain- 
ing power must be pernicious. 

" From your affectionate brother, 


From Rev. A. A. Phelps, Rochester, N. Y. 
"To the Anti- Secret Society Convention of Aurora, 
III : 

"Dear Brethren — I hail you as the friends of 
God and humanity, committed against one of the 
direst abominations of this or any other land. The 
pressure of "duties, incident to a change in the field 
of my ministerial labor, deprives me of the very great 
privilege of mingling personally in your ranks. I must 
not, however, allow so rich an opportunity to pass, 
without speaking one earnest word for truth. 


" Observation, research and the philosophy of the 
case force me to the conclusion that all secret soci- 
eties stand hi the way of the world's progress. A 
bad institution ought not to be secret, because se- 
crecy is favorable to the abuse of power and the per- 
petration of crime. A good institution need not be 
secret, because truth challenges the severest scruti- 
ny, and all valuable knowledge is for the world. 
Good works grow up in the simplicity and sunlight 
of the Gospel ; hence there is no need of curtains of 
concealment. Evil works instinctively incline to 
darkness ; hence secrecy is always a ground of sus- 
picion. Even a good cause — for instance, temper- 
ance — invalidates its claim to the confidence of hon- 
est men the very moment it sneaks away into secret 
chambers and attempts to fight in ambush. What 
is there in the nature of the case that demands such 
a mode of procedure ? How much greater would be 
the triumph of temperance, if all its friends would 
run up their colors without disguise, and march to 
the contest in open day ! But the strongest objec- 
tion to secret temperance organizations is the fact 
that they form an easy stepping-stone to certain mys- 
tic orders of a still darker hue. 

" What a fearful mania spreads over all the land 
in favor of secret societies ! How strange that the 
order of Freemasons — the most reprehensible of all 
— should have recovered so fully and so soon from 
the terrible shock it received forty years ago, when 
it went reeling and staggering on the borders of a 
dishonored grave ! Despite its horrid and barba- 
rous oaths ; despite its anti-Christian principles and 
revengeful spirit ; despite its sacriligious ceremonies 
and senseless mummeries; despite its hypocritical pre- 
tensions and murderous exploits, it has grown to be 
one of the most popular and powerful institutions of 
the land. Civil laws succumb to Masonic laws. Po- 
litical offices are mostly filled by devotees of the 


order. High-handed crimes, under the protecting 
wing of the mystic brotherhood, are committed with 
impunity. In many sections of our country there is 
nothing of justice but an empty name. Masons in- 
tend to rule the nation, and already they begin to 
run up the streaming banners of victory. 

" Would to God that the dire abomination stop- 
ped here ! But, alas ! it has infused its deadly vi- 
rus into most of the religious organizations of the 
country, and threatens to drain off what little piety 
remains in the churches. Doctors of divinity lead 
the way, followed by thousands of lesser ministerial 
lights. Of course multitudes of the laity feel justi- 
fied in following the footsteps of their religious lead- 
ers. The consequence is that the church becomes 
the nursery of the lodge, and Christ and Belial are 
practically united. In the name of God we enter 
our solemn protest against the unauthorized union ! 
If worldly men will form such unholy alliances, for 
pecuniary, political or any other purpose, let Christ- 
ians remember that they are a peculiar people, and 
must stand on the high plane of moral purity, or be 
shorn of their strength. 

" It is time to cry aloud against this growing evil, 
which threatens to rule the State and ruin the church. 
By all means let us have a National Convention to 
discuss this whole subject, and send out a record of 
facts and arguments that shall thrill the hearts of the 
million! Let it be held in some central locality, 
that we may secure the attendance of the strongest 
anti-secret society men from every part of the coun- 
try ; and as soon as practicable, that we may loose 
no time in striking some effectual blows before the 
last opportunity for successful effort is swept before 
the resistless tide ! May the God of truth stir all 
Christendom on the subject, and nerve the arm of 
every philanthropist to deeds of noble daring! 
M Very trulv yours, "A. A. PHELPS. 

"Rochester, N. Y.,Oct. 8, 1867." 



The grave questions which have called us together 
are not only matters of interest with us, but are 
equally so with thousands of honest hearts all over 
the civilized world. The evils to which reference is 
had in the deliberations and prayers of this Conven- 
tion, are not only formidable, but all the more dan- 
gerous because of their universality. A matter of 
such general bearing should be so treated as to elicit 
the general sympathy and co-operation of all who 
regard the independence and triumph of the Re- 
deemer's kingdom as of paramount importance. To 
accomplish our high design, all the available chan- 
nels of information should be seized upon, all the 
windows thrown open that floods of light, in the 
form of appropriate literature, may be scattered 
broadcast over the land. Your Committee regard 
the Press as a powerful agent for the accomplish- 
ment of this result. And while we regret that we 
are not more fully informed as to the number of 
journals whose columns are open to articles bearing 
upon the objects of this Convention, it is with pleas- 
ure that we mention the following : 

The Religious Telescope, Dayton, O. 

The American Baptist, New York City. 

The Church Union, New York City. 

The Independent, New York City. 

The American Wesleyan, Syracuse, N. Y. 

The Earnest Christian, Rochester, 1ST. Y. 

The Morning Star, Dover, N. H. 

The Northern Independent, Auburn, N. Y. 

The Christian Press, Cincinnati, O. 

The Christian Statesman, Philadelphia, Pa. 
The Committee further recommend that an ab- 
stract of the proceedings of this Convention be fur- 


nished to each of these periodicals, and any others 

the Convention may name. 



A voice has reached the President of the Conven- 
tion from the Pacific Coast, asking with intense ear- 
nestness: Why does almost the whole press pre- 
serve such a total and studied silence on a subject 
that is so intimately connected, for weal or woe, with 
every interest of society, government and religion, 
as that of the prevalent secret orders of the day? 
Where are the periodicals that clamored for the free 
and fearless discussion of slavery? That with un- 
sparing severity rebuked the studied silence of the 
Southern and border press on that question? If 
they continue this silence now, they must at least 
give some satisfactory and justifiable explanation, 
or else retract their former position ; relinquish all 
the honor of their past noble record ; recall all their 
severe criticisms and their sharp rebukes of the men 
and the journals which maintained a similar silence, 
upon questions no more important, no more perti- 
nent, no more pressing than this subject of secret 
societies. Otherwise they should expect men with 
whom consistency is sometimes as sacred as right, 
to gather up all those criticisms and rebukes and 
hurl them back whence they came, with the emphatic 
utterances : " Thou art the man." " Wherein 
thou judgest another thou condemnest thyself, for 
thou that judgest doest the same things." " Behold 
thou hast instructed many, but now it is Come upon 
thee and thou faintest, it toucheth thee and thou art 
troubled." The evil to be exposed is in your own 
community and at your own door, and you are found 
to be even as they whom you lately rebuked for 
their recreancy and despised for their cowardice. 


On the 24th day of June, 1717, just 150 
years ago, four lodges of working Masons — 
all that then existed in the South of England 
— met at the Apple-tree tavern, Covent Gar- 
den, in the city of London, and formed the 
first Grand Lodge of " Free and Accepted " . 
Masons. This was the origin of Freemasonry 
as it now exists, i. e. in the lodges of persons 
who are not Masons, but persons of all and 
no trades and professions. 

There are, in history, some few traces of 
lodges or corporations of working Masons of 
an earlier date ; and Masonic writers have 
carefully gathered and given all the historic 
notices there are. Mackey, in his "Lexicon 
of Freemasonry," (Philadelphia, 1866) col- 
lates and quotes all the standard writers on 
Masonry, and the information which he gives 


concerning its history, before and since the 
Apple-tree tavern meeting in 1717, here fol- 
lows : 

Before that time "every lodge was inde- 
pendent;" Masons met when, where and in 
such manner as they pleased ; initiated their 
apprentices, fellow-crafts and master-masons 
as they chose ; their meetings were composed 
of such working Masons of the neighborhood 
as could conveniently meet ; their annual 
gatherings were called " assemblies," and 
were strictly voluntary meetings of mechanics 
who laid brick and stone in mortar, and who 
met for conviviality, sociality and the interests 
of that particular craft. 

Since the Apple tree meeting, the local 
lodges are affiliated, governed and taxed by 
Grand Lodges. They meet under rules and 
practice rites prescribed by higher bodies ; 
the annual meetings are called "Grand 
Lodges;" they are no longer composed of 
individual working Masons, but of "grand 
officers," " masters," and wardens of lodges "; 
they are in no sense voluntary meetings, but 
meet by charter and permission of a Grand 
Master ! But what marks the modern lodge 
as a totally and entirely different thing from 


those which existed before the London meet- 
ing of 1717, is this : that at that time Ma- 
sonry ceased to he operative and become spe- 
culative, and the lodges have since had no 
more to do with building than have convents 
of priests/ 

On this clear and substantial proof, given 
by Masonic authorities, rests the assertion 
that the Freemasonry of this and other coun- 
tries had its origin at the London meeting, 
June 24th, 1717. At that time and place 
four local lodges undertook to charter, tax 
and govern all other lodges of Masons in the 
world, and they succeeded but too well in the 
attempt. They attempted more. Retaining 
the tools, symbols and names of the old 
lodges, in order to swell numbers and re- 
ceipts, by taxing others besides masons, they 
turned those old lodges into something en- 
tirely and totally different from what they 
were before — they, in fact, dropped out the 
nature of the old lodges and made a new set, 
as different from the old as a convent is from 
a trades-union. They dropped stone-masonry 
and set up what they call a " world-wide re- 
ligion" ! They left stone and mortar and 
set up priest-craft and rites. 


The words "Free and Accepted Mason 11 
have a specific and definite meaning. The 
word "Mason" meant a worker in stone or 
brick, and this sort of mechanics were accus- 
tomed to erect and inhabit temporary lodges 
near the great building (cathedral or other) 
while employed upon it; as the Irish build 
shanties along our railroads. This word 
" lodge," was transferred to a meeting of ma- 
sons, as the word "church" means the build 
ing or the people. Thirty such mechanics' 
guilds or lodges have met for centuries in 
London. They are mentioned in Rees' Cy- 
clopedia in the order of their importance. 
There were twelve which had pre-eminence by 
their age and wealth. The stonemasons were 
not of this twelve, but were of an inferior 
guild. These " guilds " or lodges, of course, 
were rivals, and their rivalry led them to wish 
to have titled persons as chairmen ; the same 
servile bowing to titles which still puts a 
drunken English Lord in the chair at an 
Exeter Hall meeting of Christians. Hence 
Mackey informs us that the first Grand 
Lodge, at the Apple-tree tavern, "Resolved 
to hold the annual assembly and feast, and 
chooser Grand Master from themselves till 


they should have the honor of a noble brother 
at their head. — (Lex. 169) But English no- 
blemen did not lay stone or brick, that is, 
were not masons. The lodge therefore voted 
to " accept " them as members, and give them 
the "freedom" of the lodge. Accepting 
them made them " accepted," and the free- 
dom of the lodge made them " free." This 
made them "Free" and "Accepted" Ma- 
sons. Thus the word '"free," in Masonry, 
has no reference to popular liberty, but 
meant, and still means, "entitled to the privi- 
leges of a secret clan or lodge," and the first 
" accepted " masons were titled aristocrats. 
(See Mackey and Morris' Dictionary, art. "Ac- 
cepted." Indeed, the desire of respectability, 
numbers and fees had led lodges of working 
masons to "accept " some members who were 
were not such, as early as 1663 — Mackey, p. 
16) — but the practice became general at the 
revival and spread of the lodges from the 
Covent Garden meeting of June, 1717, when, 
in a short time, the "accepted," or non- work- 
ing Masons became the majority and took 
control of the funds ; and the drones have 
ruled the bees and held the hives ever since ! 
So a " Free and Accepted Mason " is simply 


no mason at all, but a member of a system 
of priest-craft and mock rites, professing to 
fit men for Heaven — " the lodge above." 


It is absolutely necessary, in order to cor- 
rectly understand Freemasonry, to clearly 
apprehend the kind and sort of work which 
the four lodges, met at the Appletree tavern, 
performed. They first formed themselves 
into a Grand Lodge, and then ordained that 
no lodge or body of Masons could legally 
meet and transact their own business without 
getting (and of course paying for) a warrant 
or charter from their Grand Master! By 
this act the liberties of a large and industri- 
ous class of mankind (the builders in stone 
and brick) were seized, usurped and taken 
away, without color or even pretence of right. 
It is exactly as if four spiritual circles, four 
debating societies, or any other four bodies 
of men should get together, resolve them- 
selves into a sovereign body, and ordain that 
no similar bodies of persons should meet to- 
gether without submitting to and paying 
them a tribute ! And the Grand Lodge, or 
central government which they formed was, 


and is still, a simple, absolute despotism! No 
language can be stronger or clearer on this 
point than that of Dr. Mackey, who, on page 
183 of his Lexicon, says : 

" the government of grand lodges is 
completely despotic. while a grand 
Lodge exists, its edicts must be respect- 

its subordinate lodges ! " And the " Lex- 
icon" goes on to argue that if a Grand Lodge 
should decree contrary to the ancient con- 
stitution, " there is no redress for its sub- 
ordinates ! " but the only way to reach the 
offending Grand Lodge would be by revolu- 
tionary action of other Grand Lodges against 
it ! One can scarcely believe his own eyes 
while reading such abominable laws, which 
yet exist, and are in force and operating all 
around us ! In the words of Grattan, " They 
resemble rather a judgment of God than an 
act of legislature ! ! " And what adds to the 
cool effrontery of this wholesale usurpation 
and " despotism," Dr. Mackey tells us that 
the four lodges which made it took good 
care to exempt themselves from its opera- 
tion. He says: 

" In compliment to the four old lodges, the 


privileges winch they had always possessed, 
were practically reserved to them. It was 
enacted that no law, rule or regulation, to be 
hereafter made or passed in Grand Lodge, 
should ever deprive them of such privileges," 
— that is, of assembling together without 
permission asked or tribute paid, and doing 
their own business in their own way. Bad 
men, like Louis Napoleon, and bad systems, 
like Jesuitism, often owe their success to their 
boldness and impudence ; and this Masonic 
usurpation succeeded by like means, and noto, 
weekly, trains thousands on thousands among 
us to the theory and practice of a despotism 
of the dark ages ! 

Thus it appears by the highest Masonic 
authority, that the four lodges at Apple-tree 
tavern, created a pure, unmixed despotism, 
and imposed it on all Masons except them- 
selves, and on all others since drawn into it ; 
that this despotism was and is submitted to 
because it is dark — as the Christian church- 
es submitted to the Papacy; and despotic 
power once gained, by admitting "accepted" 
Masons who were not really such, they 
seized the funds, the tools, the symbols, 
nay ! the order itself, and turned it into 


something totally different from what it was 
originally designed. Never since Satan en- 
tered and subverted Eden, was a darker, 
cooler, more complete and more damning 
revolution accomplished in the ideas and in- 
stitutions and against the rights of men ! 


Men never submit to despotism from the 
mere love of it — it is always for the sake of 
something which cannot be had without it. 
Thus for the pomp, and show, and license of 
Monarchy, the Hebrews, though warned by 
Samuel, submitted to the despotism of a 
king. Thus, for the inspiration of supersti- 
tion, and the delirium of strange rites, all 
Asia and Africa to-day submit to priests. 
Thus, Mormons submit to the horrible reign 
of their prophet ; and thus, for like reason, 
Freemasons submit to a government de- 
clared by their " Lexicon " to be " com- 
pletely despotic " ! Nor does the most ab- 
ject superstition exclude from its dupes the 
shrewdness of self-interest or the cunning 
of legerdemain. Mormons are at once 
most thriving and most abject ; and when 
once priestism and delusion have inau- 


gurated a movement, the eagles will gath- 
er to its carcass. The present delegate of 
Utah at Washington boasts that he is "only 
Mormon enough to go to Congress ; " and 
thousands of Freemasons are to-day in the 
lodge who have only u received the mark of 
the beast in their hand." In both head and 
heart they detest it, but they yield to its 
claims and practice its idolatries, as Christ 
did not Satan's, for " the kingdoms of the 
world and the glory of them ; " for gain, 
glory or votes ; or, once in the eel-pot of the 
lodge, though inly loathing it, the sharp 
points of Masonic vengeance prevent their 
leaving it. 


If Freemasonry should not persecute, even 
to murder, those who thwart, expose or op- 
pose it — when it can do so without losing 
more than it gains by the operation — it is 
the iirst system of spurious rites which has 
not done it since Cain killed Abel for that 
very cause. The power of Fremasonry, as 
of all false religions, is in the rites ; these 
gone, all is gone. Hence every system of 
rites contrived as a substitute for, or rival 


of the rites given by Jesus Christ, must have 
despotic power to protect itself. Hence, 
too, priestism and despotism are hand in 
hand the world over. Even in Christian 
countries the power of every church grows 
despotic in direct proportion to the rites and 
government it has added to Christ's ; and 
Mormonism could not hold together a month 
if the Mormon chief was not an absolute 

Hitherto we have quoted Masonic author- 
ities; we shall also quote anti-Masonic au- 
thorities — and any person would stultify him- 
self by saying or insinuating that the seced- 
ing Masons on this floor, who are listening to 
this report, and who will vote upon its state- 
ments, are not to be believed. There are 
here to-day among us brethren who have 
taken the Entered Apprentice, Fellowcrafb, 
Masters' and Eoyal Arch degrees ; some were 
made Masons before and some since the Mor- 
gan outrage, and if these, added to the thou- 
sands of good men who have renounced the 
lodge and exposed its secrets, are not to be 
believed — if the Rev. Charles G. Finney, 
known on both sides the Atlantic and revered 
wherever known, and who has lately from 


the Oberlin pulpit assured us that the Masonic 
degrees are correctly revealed, as far as he 
went in them — if, I say, such men as these 
cannot be relied on, then nobody can be 
relied on. But men who renounce error and 
declare the truth, ought to be, always were 
and always will be believed ; and such are 
seceding Masons; such the martyrs of all 
ages — and the slur or insinuation that we 
might know more of these things by joining 
the lodge, only discredits his veracity and 
sense who makes it. What, then, by the 
"cloud of witnesses" from 1826 to this day, 
is "Masonic vengeance f" 

The victims of its many murders are dead, 
and only the resurrection trumpet can bring 
them into court; but the theory, at least, of 
its vengeance is found in its oaths, a slight 
portion of which will be sufficient. In the 
Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Masters' 
degrees, the candidate, blindfolded, stripped 
to his shirt, kneeling, after being led beast- 
like with a rope about his neck, obligates 
himself to conceal the present and future 
proceedings of the lodge under the following 
among other penalties : "To have his throat 
cut from ear to ear;" "his tongue torn out by 


the roots;" "his left breast torn open;" "the 
heart and vitals taken out;" "the body sever- 
ed in two;" "the bowels burned to ashes;" 
with other like penalties, the ideas of which 
were taken from the Inquisition, and from 
torments and tortures actually inflicted in the 
savage and bloody wars and executions of 
the dark ages. If we are to hope that such 
more than fiendish penalties would not now 
be inflicted, why has such a lodge-literature 
been kept up? — a literature borrowed from 
the acts of inquisitors, and fit only for beasts 
and devils. There are men on this floor 
who are ready to testify with. President 
Finney of Oberlin, that these horrible oaths, 
with their more than horrible penalties, were 
imposed on them in the lodges, and forty-five 
thousand out of a little above fifty thousand 
who seceded after Morgan died, were wit- 
nesses of the same. Why have such oaths 
been kept up through a whole century of pro- 
gress and light unless for the purpose of in- 
timidation, and to subject seceding Masons 
to real danger of assassination? 

The late Judge Daniel H. Whitney, of 
Belvidere, Boone Co., 111., published in the 
American Baptist, and afterwards in a pam-. 


phlet over his own name, that members of 
that lodge, while he was Worshipful Master 
thereof, attempted to screen a brother of 
the same lodge who had seduced and mur- 
dered a young girl named Ellen Slade ; that 
an arrangement was made to assassinate him 
(Judge Whitney) in the lodge room, and 
that he verily believed that he would have 
been assassinated, had not an excited popu- 
lace outside become aware of his danger, and 
would instantly have avenged his death! 
The whole pamphlet of Judge Whitney, pub- 
lished in 1852, should be reprinted and circu- 
lated for general use. 

But if we suppose the same causes, to wit : 
light and progress, and fear of the people, 
which protect us from the inquisition and the 
stake, ordinarily secure us from these Ma- 
sonic penalties, there is other vengeance, 
meaner than murder, if not more cruel. And 
the late Hon. Owen Lovejoy, in personal 
conversation with the writer of this report, 
said that Masonic lodges had been used by 
Masons for the destruction of political oppo- 
nents, by sending to distant lodges certificates 
duly certifying that their victims had been 
expelled the lodge under infamous charges ; 

"putting a black shiet on a man." 77 

and that these false certificates, going on se- 
cret records in the principal lodges through- 
out the States, would be believed by the fra- 
ternity, who could have no means of knowing 
the falsehood of the paper, while the victim, 
not being a Mason, could not know of its 
existence. And Mr. Lovejoy further stated 
that such a paper was sent to a Chicago 
lodge containing malignant charges against 
himself, but that the paper was met and 
quashed by a personal friend of his who was 
a member of the lodge, and who informed 
him of the fact ! Moreover, a letter lately 
dated from the Tremont House, in Chicago, 
purporting to come from a member of a 
lodge, states that it is no uncommon thing 
for wicked men who are Masons, to frame, or 
cause to be preferred charges against men 
outside whom they wish to destroy, falsely 
averring that they had been Masons in other 
jurisdictions ; carry their case by false testi- 
mony, so far as to get it on record, and thus 
set the fraternity against them as unworthy 
Masons ; when their victims and the public 
outside could never know a word of the 
matter. The writer says this is called " put- 
ting a black shirt on a man !" The letter 


further states that " the enemies of the secret 
orders in the lodges cure more than legion ; " 
but that deterred by their dread of its facili- 
ty for destroying the characters of men by 
such and similar methods, they either hold 
their peace, or even speak in praise of the or- 
der. There are, of course, multitudes of high- 
minded and honorable men who pass for 
masons, who would abhor such practices, but 
who pay little or no attention to the pro- 
ceedings of lodges ; and who, if they know 
of them, or suspect them, allow them to pass 
as evils which they cannot correct. 


The new centralized organization framed 
in 1717, at Covent Garden, contained the 
three elements of success found in all false 
religions, viz: despotism, solemn rites and 
mysteries, and showy parades ; and like all 
such false religions, it spread. The old 
Eleusiinian Mysteries, Mahometanism or 
modern Mormonism, neither of them excelled 
it in the accumulation of funds or in the rapid- 
ity of its march. From the Apple-tree tav- 
ern lodge, in spite of bitter feuds and secta- 
rian quarrels, which kept up two or three 


rival Grand Lodges, wrangling for the spoils,, 
until 1813, when, "under the Duke of 
Sussex, they were happily united" (Mac. 
Lex., 171), in the short period of twenty- 
one years it had spread from that centre into 
France, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, the 
United States, Saxony, Belgium, Holland, 
Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Asia, Africa, and 
among the exported convicts at Botany Bay. 
A few years later it had gained footing in 
Denmark, Sweden, Eussia, Poland, Bohemia, 
Canada, the West India Islands and Brazil, 
so that now " most of all the existing Grand 
Lodges on earth have derived their origin, 
directly or indirectly, from that Apple-tree 
tavern lodge." — -(Chase's Dig. Masonic Law, 
p. 15.) Nothing in modern times has 
equalled the spread of this dark, despotic 
order, unless it be the spread of Spriritual- 
ism from the "knockings" in the little 
village of Hydesville, near Kochester, N. Y., 
in 1848, which, in twenty years, boasts in its 
books, that its " circles" count more mem- 
bers than all the Christian churches in this 

In September, 1826, William Morgan was 
kidnapped by Masons (See Morris' Diction- 


ary of Freemasonry, art. Anti-Masonry) and 
murdered. The discussion of Freemasonry 
was taken before the people, and 1,500 
lodges answered by giving up their charters ! 
Even the Grand Lodge of Illinois, then an 
extreme frontier State, suspended its exis- 
tence for several years, but was reorganized 
in 1840. After the first shock of the Mor- 
gan discussion, and a few feeble efforts to 
stem the tide by the lodge-men, the lodges 
out of the slave States everywhere went 
down. Robert Morris, LL. D., states that 
of a little more than 50,000 Masons, 45.000 
seceded. Lodge meetings were held in 
chm-ches by seceding Masons, and the de- 
grees conferred in open daylight. All the 
lodge secrets were thus revealed, and the 
whole system was loathed and detested as a 
swindle and a cheat. But the slave-power, 
which then controlled the politics and the 
organized religion of the country, protected 
and preserved Freemasonry from discussion 
in the slave states, and Freemasonry, in turn, 
protected slavery until it fell by civil commo- 
tion and the proclamation of President Lin- 

The recovery of Freemasonry from popu- 


lar odium and detestation is, perhaps, with- 
out a parallel in the history of human error 
and folly ; and it shows that the forces on 
which the secret orders depend to manage 
mind are strong and mighty. Beginning 
with Odd Fellowship, which, as the name 
indicates, was a mere piece of secret and 
solemn buffoonery, the spirit of idolatry, 
cast out by the fall of Freemasonry, seized 
upon several popular virtues ; as temperance, 
patriotism, and even upon Protestantism, in 
the Know Nothings ; and these, by educating 
the people, creating a thirst for sham mys- 
teries and harlot rites, have piloted Freema- 
sonry back into popular favor, so that Free- 
masonry was never so popular in this country 
as at this hour ! Without answering one 
argument which condemns it (for it cannot), 
it has glided back into power — 

" Still as the breeze and awful as the storm." 

Like the brothel, which is the scriptural 
type and emblem of all false religions, it has 
crept back into our towns and villages by 
night and in silence. Like the brothel, too, 
propagating itself, not by reasons addressed 
to the understanding, but by lures which 
appeal to lusts; bitter, and haughty and 


scoffing, it already presents itself, by its rep- 
resentatives, in public places — laying corner- 
stones of churches, with prayers to its un- 
known God ; omitting the name of Christ, for 
whose worship the church professes to be built 
— it has to so vast an extent silenced press 
and pulpit, or subsidized them in its interest, 
that bold, men stand silent and the timid 
quail before it. 

Some faint idea of its rapid return to pow- 
er can be had from the following facts : 

In the State of Michigan the applications 
for Masonic initiation for the year ending 
January, 1864, were 2,858 ; in the year fol- 
lowing, 5,075 ! Under the rule requiring $5 
to be sent in by each applicant, along with 
his application, whether he be received or 
not, the revenue of the order, from mere ap- 
plicants, in that single year, would be more 
than twenty-five thousand dollars. In our 
own State of Illinois, from 1840, when the 
Grand Lodge was reorganized, to 1866, the 
number of lodges has arisen to 430, with a 
membership of twenty five thousand. — (Mor- 
ris, art. Illinois.) The charge for initiating 
a candidate into these secrets, which are not 
secrets, varies from twenty up to fifty dollars 


for the first three degrees. If we take the 
smallest sum for an average, the degree-fees 
of Illinois Masons, excluding other dues, can 
not have been less than five millions of dol- 


There are no means of knowing or even 
estimating the amount of money drawn by 
secret orders from the industrious masses, 
and placed in secret hands, which make no 
reports to the people who pay in the funds, 
or to the legislatures which chartered the 
lodges; and Masons in general are as igno- 
rant as outsiders of the amount raised, or 
what becomes of the money. The lodge 
pays no interest on deposits, declares no div- 
dends, publishes no defaulters. When, in 
the Morgan discussion, fifteen hundred lodg- 
es suspended or went down, and 45,000 out 
of* 50,000 Masons left their lodges forever, 
though millions on millions had accumulated 
in their hands, in city blocks and other real 
and personal property, the mechanics and 
laborers who had paid in the money received 
nothing back ; and no poor were known to 
suffer by the stoppage of their vaunted char- 

84 THE "dues a corruption fund. 

ities ! Indeed, it has been forcibly said, 
"These orders expend no more in proportion 
to what they receive, in charity, than a skill- 
ful fisherman would expend in bait." 

But the history of society and what few 
statistics we get, show that more money can 
be drawn from men by means of secret soci- 
eties, than by any other voluntary means 
whatever. And, in the absence of returns, 
we are left to infer, from the known tenden- 
cies of such accumulations, that, as in past 
years, so in the present, the gains of these 
orders by rents, fines, dues and degree-fees, 
are expended for regalia, stolen by defaulters, 
or squandered upon favorites ; and that, in 
one way and another, the money they receive, 
constitutes a vast corruption fund for the 
support of idleness, luxury and vice. 


Stone-laying masonry is older than the 
Pyramids ; as old as stone walls. And the 
small, independent, voluntary societies of 
stone-masons which appear in English his- 
tory, had friendly relations to the Christian 
religion. But Freemasonry which dates back 
no farther than our grandfathers, holds no 


relation to Christianity but of rivalship and 
substitution. There is no way for a Chris- 
tian minister or church to be at peace with 
the lodge but to submit to it, and thus virtu- 
ally become a part of it. The Covent Gar- 
den lodge did not limit its aspirations to 
taxing and governing the little lodges of 
stone-masons. It opened its doors to and 
"accepted" members from all trades and 
professions, and set deliberately at work, 
like all spurious religions, for the conquest 
of the world. Hence, like the Roman Em- 
pire, which undertook the same conquest by 
its arms, which this order did by its rites, it 
undertook to include and fuse in itself all 
the religions of men. And the lodge stands, 
since the Co vent Garden meeting, a sort of 
spiritual pantheon of the nations. 

On a point so important, let us hear the 
Masonic authorities themselves : 

Mackey says : " The religion of Masonry 
is pure theism, on which its different members 
engraft their own peculiar opinions, hut tliey 
are not permitted to introduce them into the 
lodge." — (Lex., art. Religion, p. 402.) This 
is explicit. The worship of the lodge excludes 

86 fulfilling satan's proposition. 

Chase (Digest of Masonic Laws 1864, p. 
206,) says : " To require that a candidate 
profess his belief in ' the divine authenticity 
of the Bible ' or ' a state of future rewards 
and punishments] is a serious innovation in 
the very body of Masonry." 

Again, same book and page : " It is Anti- 
Masonic to require any religious test, other 
than the candidate should believe in a God, 
the Creator and Governor of the Universe." 
Again, page 208, same work : " Freemasonry 
calls no man to account for his belief of any 
religion on the globe." — Constitution Grand 
Orient, France. 

These quotations might be indefinitely 
multiplied, showing that the intent and mean- 
ing of the lodge was to construct religious 
rites and worship, which should do precisely 
what Satan proffered to do for Christ, viz : 
Unite " all the kingdoms of the world " in 
one religion. 

Now, it needs no words to show that the 
religions of the world are not the religion 
of Christ, but Anti-Christ. The lodge is, 
therefore, Anti-Christ, by the definition of 
its own authorities. Hence, Dr. O. H. Tif- 
fany, at the laying of the corner-stone of 


Douglas' monument by Andrew Johnson, at 
Chicago, read a prayer which he had writ- 
ten for the occasion, in which no name or 
attribute of Christ occurred ! The same 
professed Christian minister officiated at the 
laying of the corner-stone of the M. E. . 
Church, at Kankakee, 111., without once ut- 
tering the name of Christ. It would have 
been un-Masonic to do so. For why should 
Jews, Mohammetans, Pagans and deists be 
asked to recognize Christ in the prayers of 
the lodge, to which vast numbers of them 
belong ? Thus the lodge is, by constitution, 
by definition, by nature and by necessity a 
Christ-excluding or Anti-Christian religion. 

It is a religion ; and it is nothing else. 
Its " work " consists of religious ceremonies. 
It has no more to do with building or stone- 
masonry, from which it sprung, than a squad 
of Monks or Mormons, or a phalanx of Spir- 
itualists. Its candidate begins at the door of 
the lodge, outside, uttering a Jew's or deist's 
religious confession of faith. Inside the 
lodge, all is professedly religious ceremony. 
He kneels at an altar; binds himself by 
oaths ; Christless prayers are said over him ; 
he enters a religious covenant ; he is called 


a " brother," living and dead, and is buried 
as a brother ; and the liturgy of the lodge 
lands him in heaven, " the lodge above." 
The motto on the seal of our Grand Lodge 
of Illinois, " Faith, Hope and Charity " is 
a religion condensed; and he who, in the 
face of these facts, can deny that Freemason- 
ry is an anti-Christian or Christ-excluding, 
Gentile religion, is either deceived, or else 
ignorantly, wilfully, or judicially blind ! 


But the Entered Apprentice is told at the 
threshold that the obligation he is to as- 
sume is not to infringe his " religion or his 
politics." Yes, but the very prayer which 
is said over him while on his knees, and in 
which he is expected to join, is a Christless 
prayer. — See the New Masonic Trestleboard, 
p. 22. 

" But the name of Christ is sometimes used 
in prayers offered in the lodge." True, but 
these are un-Masonic prayers, used to deceive 
Christians, and when Jews and deists are not 
present to object. 

"But the higher and templar degrees 
abound in allusions to Christ." True, again ; 


but these are properly no part of " Universal 
Masonry." (See Morris' Dictionary, art. 
Blue Lodge.) They are side-degrees, like 
those invented for women ; " denominational 
excrecences " which Masonry will " shake 
oft."— Id. p. 30. 

But the " Holy Scriptures " are one of 
the " lights " of Freemasonry, " carried in 
processions," etc., etc. This is also true. But 
" Holy Scriptures," in lodge language, mean,, 
"in Christian countries, the Bible; in other 
countries, those books supposed to contain a 
revelation of the divine will." Arabs are Ma- 
sons. Have Arabs the Bible ? In a few 
instances, too, Christian Masons have carried 
votes in some Grand Lodges to recognize the 
Christian Scriptures. But all such votes 
have been promptly condemned by other 
Grand Lodges, as against the ancient consti- 
tutions, in words like the following, found in 
Chase's Digest, p. 208 : " Masonry has noth- 
ing whatever to do xoith the Bible. It is 
not founded on the Bible. If it was, it ivould 
not be Masonry, it would be something elseP 
This is not only Masonic authority, but sim- 
ple truth. The system was devised with the 
intent and purpose to include what is com- 


mon to the religions of the earth, and to 
delude what is peculiar to them ; and Christ 
is not included in the various religions of 
this earth, and therefore he is deluded by 
Freemasonry — which is thus proved to be 
one of the " many Anti-Christs " now in the 
world.— 1 John, 2 : 18. 


But the Christian religion is found in 
Christian churches; and, as in theory the 
lodge excludes Christ, so in practice and in 
fact, it subverts the churches which worship 
and obey him. The proof of this is mani- 
fest — thus. 

1. Masonry, along with other secret orders 
to which it has given birth, divides up the 
members of a Christian church into several 
distinct " brotherhoods," " so that the word 
"brother" in such a church, has either none 
or an uncertain meaning; thus a minister 
stands in a pulpit before a church made up of 
members of the secret orders, himself belong- 
ing to several. Before him are say, ten Free- 
masons, half of them Christians, the other 
half skeptics, or nothing ; another set, " Odd 
Fellows " another, " Good Templars," or 


" Grand Army ; " another set, " Sons ; " etc., 
etc., and all "brothers." Now let him address 
this motley group of rival and conflicting 
" brother-hood^" all sacred and holy, " My 
dearly beloved brethren — It doth not yet ap- 
pear,"etc, etc. Who under the whole heavens 
can tell whether he means "brother Christian," 
" brother Mason," or what brothers " he does 
mean ! ? These orders empty and eviscerate 
the very word brother of all its meaning and 

2. These orders divide up a church of 
Christ (which is his body) into separate 
squads, each pledged to secrecy from the 
other, and so kill and destroy Christian fel- 
lowship in that church. 

3. They thus destroy the unity of the 
" body of Christ," by these sheet-iron parti- 
tions of secrecy, so that his blood cannot flow 
freely to his members. 

4. In their oaths and obligations they do 
not swear in the name of Christ, and so ex- 
clude and set him aside as the author of moral 
and religious obligation. 

5. They occupy the time and social feel- 
ings of the Christians who join them, leaving 


neither time nor disposition for the social 
meetings of the church. 

6. No man can give his chief allegiance to 
both church and lodge at once. " He will 
cleave to the one and forsake the other, or 
hold to the one and despise the other." 

7. When Christians, who belong to lodges, 
retain any traces of Christianity, they are 
despised and condemned by Masons. A 
Masonic writer, [Mystic Star, May, 1867, p. 
136,] says : " These men of sectarian bias 
are the bad material, the soft, cross-grained, 
crumbling, shaky, cracked, unmanageable 
candidates with whom we have the most 
trouble." He specifies " Presbyterians," 
"Quakers" and "Baptists," as such "bad 
material " ! Being thus suspected, they must 
lose their lodge-influence or go with it against 
the church. 

8. There is something in the lodge-rites 
which destroys all relish in those who prac- 
tice them for the rites appointed by Christ. 

9. Judge Whitney [Pamphlet, p. 22,] says 
that a high Mason and worthy man remark- 
ed to him, about the time of Ellen Slade's 
murder, that "A Masonic lodge is the 
strangest medley of priests and murderers, 


deacons and whoremasters, church, members 
and gamblers, decent men and loafers, drunk- 
ards and rowdies, that the All-Seeing Eye 
looks down upon." So promiscuous a body 
must, of course, collide with a neighboring 
church upon questions of Christian doctrine 
and public morals ; and in every such collis- 
ion, church members who are Masons, must 
be proscribed by the lodge, or take part with 
it against the church. In either case the 
church is weakened. 

10. Prayer, baptism and the cummunion 
supper are rites appointed by Christ, as chan- 
nels through which God's grace and presence 
come to men. All Masonic, and other man- 
made religious rites, by drawing people from 
these roads to Christ, in a hunter's phrase, 
" put men upon a false scent," and so cheat 
them out of their approaches to God. 

11. A neighboring lodge has power to in- 
timidate and corrupt the ministry, by agree- 
ing in secret to withdraw their patronage, 
and drive him from his pulpit, unless he will 
bow the knee to their dark idolatries ; and 
thus compel the church to receive a pastor 
chosen secretly in the lodge, and so, virtually 
take possession of the church, and adul 

94 conclusion. 

terate and slowly change the gospel preached 
from its pulpit into " another gospel which is 
not another." 

We conclude, therefore, that Freemasonry- 
is hostile to, and subversive of the Christian 
religion, and that the two cannot permanent- 
ly continue side by side in the same country. 
And that the duty of Christians in these lodg- 
es is given in the Word of God : " Come 
out of her my people, that ye be not partakers 
of her plagues!" 


of Oberlin College. 


Prove all things: hold fast that which is good. 1 Thess. 5. 21. 

But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and 
destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not : 
and shall utterly perish in their own corruption. 2 Pet. 2. 12. 

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of dark- 
ness, but rather reprove them. Eph. 5. 11. 

I wish so to present the subject of secret, 
oath-bound, permanent societies, and their 
relation to church and state, that our church 
can act intelligently on the question of re- 
ceiving Masons who apply for membership, 
and also on the question, " Shall Christians 
accept and fellowship Masonry, as a co-labor- 
er for Christ ? " 

It is known that William Morgan, then of 
Batavia, N. Y., was abducted and murdered, 
Sept. 1826. I was at the time, in the vicin- 
ity, a young lawyer. I had been a Master- 
Mason, induced to join the lodge by an un- 
cle of mine who was a professing Christian, 
but, on my conversion to Christ, my moral 


nature loathed and rejected it. I went to 
the lodge and demanded my discharge, but 
said nothing about it. 

In the cases arising out of the abduction of 
Morgan, and Miller, his publisher, the courts 
found themselves helpless. This awakened 
universal enquiry, and the real nature and 
tendencies of Freemasonry were examined 
by its members, and by outsiders, and multi- 
tudes renounced it. Several others published 
it, and conventions of those who renounced 
it confirmed the truthfullness of those publi- 
cations. The newspaper press was generally 
recreant, and two spurious editions of Mor- 
gan's book were published, to deceive both 
Masons and the public. But new papers every- 
where sprung up, which published the facts. 

Freemasons at first, everywhere denied 
that the truth of Masonry was revealed, but 
ministers and Christians, finding they could 
not live under such denial, at length owned 
the truth. All now felt at liberty to do so, 
since their Masonic obligations only bound 
them to conceal the secrets of Masonry, and 
now there were no secrets, since they were 
revealed. All seceders who renounced it, 
testified that Morgan and others had truly 


published Masonry, while remaining adhe- 
rents generally evaded or denied it; but 
such were the effects of the revelation that 
nearly aH lodges suspended. 

But now, a new generation, with new 
questions have arisen up : most of the books 
and publications have been destroyed ; our 
youth have been drawn into it, and it has 
spread rapidly. The first settlers of Oberlin 
rejected it, with all secret societies, but now 
it is forced upon us, and our churches, by ap- 
plicants for membership. We must meet it. 

The first grand question is, " What is 
Freemasonry f and how shall we know what 

Surely not by the laudatory writings of 
Freemasons, for they are under oaths, which 
they acknowledge to be binding, not to re- 
veal it ! Nor from the testimony of adhering 
masons, for, considering their oaths binding, 
they, of course, cannot, directly or indirectly, 
acknowledge that its secrets have been re- 
vealed by Morgan, Bernard and others. If 
asked whether those books are true, they are 
under oath to evade or deny it. They are 
sworn, under the most horrible penalites, to 
conceal their secrets, and, of course, will, if 


possible, make the uninitiated believe that 
the books professing to reveal those secrets 
are false ! Therefore, neither the affirmations 
nor denials of adhering Masons are . to be 
credited, for if they regard their oaths as of 
greater obligation than their mere assertions, 


oaths I They are sworn to conceal their se- 
crets, but they are .not sworn not to lie ! And 
it is notorious that many do deny that the 
secrets of Masonry have been published, and 
the most consciencious among them will say 
nothing about it ; while thousands of seced- 
ing Masons affirmed that Bernard and others 
have published Masonry as it is. And it is 
well known that the Legislature of Rhode 
Island compelled Freemasons who still ad- 
hered to confess that the first ten degrees 
were truly published. This was as far as 
any one of them had gone. In this state of 
facts, it is madness to credit the testimony, 
pro or con, of those who are under oath to 
deceive in regard to the question before us. 

It is vain to say that they are good men 
and will not lie: — because their adhering 
places them in circumstances that compel 
them either to violate their oath and own up, 


or lie to save their oath, and deny what all 
seceding Masons know and affirm to be the 
truth. They must, therefore, renounce their 
unlawful oaths, and confess that the secrets 
are published, or, by adhering to their oaths, 
commit themselves to a perpetual lie ! 

Hoiv then, directly, shall we know what 
Masonry is ? 

I answer : By the testimony of renouncing 
Masons. This is the only testimony the na- 
ture of the case admits, and it is the only 
possible testimony, for they only can and will 
speak from personal knowledge ; and because 
they speak from personal knowledge they 
are competent witnesses. 

Then also, they are credible witnesses, 
because they give the best of reasons for re- 
nouncing Masonry and giving their testimony 
respecting it. In testifying, too, they ac- 
cuse themselves and confess their wrong. 
Their testimony is wrung from them by a 
sense of duty. In leaving the lodge, they 
testify in the face of certain and relentless 
persecution, at the hazard of their worldly 
interests, and (as in the case of Morgan and 
others) at the hazard of their lives! And 
all this without the promise or expectation of 


any earthly reward ; so that the first body 
of seceders especially, could have had no sel- 
fish motive to influence them. And, as they 
are all substantially agreed in their testi- 
mony, according to all rules of evidence, 
they are the best possible witnesses. 

And while thus worthy of belief on their 
own account, we who are or have been of 


edge that the revealers of Masonry testify 
the truth. Their name is legion, and their 
testimony found in the books and records of 
conventions, etc., etc., of seceding Masons. 

II. By what rale shall we judge Masonry. 

Not by the lives of its members, for they 
may be worse or better than their principles. 
Neither Freemasonry nor Christianity is res- 
ponsible for what it consistently 'condemns. 
But both are to be judged by what they re- 
quire and justify in their members. They 
are also to be judged by their tendencies and 
natural results; by their oaths; their cere- 
monies ; by the law of God, and the Gospel 
of Christ ; by which we must all be judged. 
; (Here Prof. Finney introduced Prof. Mor- 
gan, who read from Bernard for some hours ; 
showing Freemasonry to be a Secret Mutual 


aid-Society, bound by horrible and disgusting 
oaths and imprecations ; binding Freemasons 
to stand by and aid each other ; in the Mas- 
ter's oath, ■" Murder and treason only except- 
ed /" that is, in all crimes short of those two. 
In the Royal Arch degree; "To deliver a 
brother 'eight oe WEOKa;" thus he read on 
through some thirteen degrees of ceremonies, 
each upper degree being sworn to conceal- 
ment from all below ; each degree containing 
a lecture made up of legends and ceremonies, 
pretending to be solemn, yet often frivolous, 
sometimes ridiculous, blasphemous and ab- 
surd, interspersed with prayers to the "Arch- 
itect of the Universe." (See Bernard passim.) 
Mr Finney then continued: 

I have endeavored to select, for reading, 
what would present the best side of Free- 
masonry, leaving out the frivolus and ridic- 
ulous as far as I could, and, 

III. In view of this testimony let us see 

Why good men nave joined the lodge t 

Some have been influenced by curiosity. 

Then, Masons have strongly recommended 

it to good men. They have sought the good 

name and influence of the wise and good. 


And good men too have joined with the 
hope of greater usefulness. 

IV. But why, finding what it was, have 
they not renounced it ? 

Some, because they have respected the 
paths. Others who have regarded the oaths 
as nugatory and immoral, and therefore not 
binding ; have been influenced by the fact 
that it, inconsistently, pledges its members 
to good morals, and therefore, in moral and 
religious communities, acts as a restraint upon 
conscientious impenitent men. Then it often 
protects female relatives from Masons who 
are libertines. It also often secures help to 
Masons, their widows and orphans in distress. 
They can point to many cases of that kind. 
Then some good men think it useful to the 
impenitent, keeping them out of worse places 
at night. 

Good men therefore have remained in the 
lodge for their own interest and that of their 
families. They have a pecuniary interest in 
it as a mutual insurance. It inculcates love 
of the brotherhood. Then they are sworn 
not to injure or speak ill of it. Some of the 
Templar degrees commend fidelity to Christ- 
ianity. Then they have seen and known only 


the best side of Masonry. They are not 
versed in its true history and have never well 
considered the whole question. Some hav- 
ing become committed, have become uncan- 
did. Under all this terrible pressure of mo- 
tive, they accept the false pretentions and 
pretences of Masonry and so remain in the 

Then they fear persecution which Masons 
are sworn to inflict, and so have not the 
moral courage to renounce. Yet very few 
good men continue to attend the lodges but 
content themselves with letting it alone ; so 
that few of them realy know much about it, 
thus leaving its immense revenues and fear- 
ful influence to be wielded by the worldly, 
infidel, libertine and profane. 

Then good men sophisticate themselves as 
the slave-holders did; and are misled by 
eulogistic books, as Salem Towne, and others ; 
who justify and laud the lodge as many others 
did slavery, influenced by the names of the 
great and good who have been involved in 

V. Let us now enquire why so many wise 
and good men do renounce and denounce it! 

They do not regard the oaths as binding 


because they were obtained by fraud ; un- 
lawfully administered, and improperly and 
unlawfully taken. They see, too, that the 
rites, oaths included, are shockingly profane, 
because they pledged them to perform unlaw- 
ful deeds, and so, being immoral, are, of 
course, void. And then, there are now pos- 
itively no secrets to keep, and so the oath to 
keep the secrets is void by circumstances. 

They denounce it because, guarded by 
most unchristian and monstrous penalties, 
which Masons are sworn to execute, and to 
be revenged in the most barbarous manner 
on seceders ; all which is expressly forbidden 
by Christ and by the moral law. 

Then there were no important secrets to 
justify all this — least of all to justify such 
horrible penalties. They renounce, too, be- 
cause the ceremonies are shockingly profane 
— putting a man behind the semblance of 
a burning bush to personate the Infinite God ! 
Their use of the Sacred Scriptures is equally 
profane ; placing them also on a level with 
false revelations. Their offices and titles are 
Anti-Christian, Anti-republican and impious. 
So their rules of proceeding are despotic and 
Anti-republican. Their oaths justify that 


which was done to William Morgan. Their 
members, too, by then silence or in words, 
justify it. Its claims to great antiquity are 
a sham. Its end is selfish ; its morality un- 
christian, and itself a religious delusion — 
promising Heaven as the reward of faithful- 
ness to the Masonic fraternity ! 

It does not teach the necessity of a change 
of heart, and, by clear inference, denies such 
necessity. It does not purpose or profess to 
change the heart, and so, of course, cannot 
make men any better. It is clear it can 
never make a good man, so that if Masons 
are good men, it is the Gospel, and not Ma- 
sonry that makes them so. Consequently it 
can never fit men for Heaven, and yet it 
falsely and impiously professes to get them 
there ! Its professed benefactions are not 
benevolence, but only mutual insurance ; and 
that not voluntary mutual insurance, but 
oath-bound ! These are some of the reasons 
why multitudes of wise and good men re- 
nounce and denounce the lodge. 

VI. Freemasonry has no right to oath- 
bound secrecy. 

If it is a good, why refuse to confer it on 
the vast majority of mankind, women, mi- 


nors, the crippled, disabled and poor? If 
evil, it surely has no right to secrecy. Mar- 
ried men have felt it to be a wrong done to 
their wives, and wives have been stung with 
the personal dishonor of a life-long conceal- 
ment from them, enforced upon their hus- 
bands by a strange, promiscuous body of 

Christians have renounced it because it 
grieved God's spirit in them, and many who 
have not renounced it, have yet quit it for 
that reason. They have renounced it be. 
cause they understand and know it better 
since its crimes have forced investigation, 
and broke the dark, sepulchral silence in 
which it spread. They have renounced it 
too, because they have regarded it as a dis- 
grace to Christ, and as a grief to their breth- 
ren. Christians, too, have left it because they 
saw it was a stumbling block to young ma- 
sons, and because their remaining in it was 
commending it to young men who were not 
Masons, and so make the church responsible 
for it, and justifying it generally by their 

Then they have quit it because they dare 
not remain in it ; — dare not remain in such 


bondage ; — dare not connive at the hypocrisy 
practiced by the lodge-adherents in denying 
that it has been published ; — dare not belong 
to a voluntary organization whose oaths, and 
many of whose members, justify and require 
the murder of the revealer of its secrets ! 
Dare not belong to a society whose oaths re- 
quire the most horrid murder of any one who 
"violates any part of their obligations." 
For example, " if he wrong a Mason out of 
the smallest sum of money," or " speak ill 
of the lodge !" He is sworn not to " fail in 
any respect." If he does he is liable to the 
penalties. Christians feel bound not to keep, 
but publicly to confess and renounce such 
oaths as sins. 

Then, upon careful reflection, they see that 
their silence and adherence makes them mor- 
ally responsible for the murder of Morgan, 
as accessories after the fact, and so blood- 
guiltiness is on them till they renounce. 

Then secret, oath-bound societies natural- 
ly in the hands of sinners, are dangerous. 
Such were the Knights of the Golden Circle, 
which organized our most terrible rebellion. 
Reliable authorities charge secret societies 
with being the prolific parent of bloody rev- 


olutions in France, and particularly in Mexi- 
co (whose population divided about equally 
between the York and the Scotch rites, and 
kept between them in almost one continuous 
revolution.) In view of which it is seen to 
be no honor, but a disgrace to belong to any 
secret society. 

VII. Finally : Freemasonry is hostile to 

If fellowshipped, its oath-bound secrecy 
would disgrace Christianity. Its oaths and 
penalties are abhorrent to it. Its mock be- 
nevolence is rejected by Christianity. Its 
pompous offices, titles and ceremonies are an 
offence, and its blasphemous perversion and 
abuse of the Christian Scriptures, Christiani- 
ty must regard as abominable, and its (har- 
lot) pretensions to be the " handmaid" of 
Christianity as absurd. 

Where are its trophies ? What has it done, 
with its vast funds, for general education, 
for Christian missions, revivals of religion, 
for the Freedmen or the general poor ? To 
ask these questions is to answer them. 

It is everywhere and evermore a hindrance 
to revival effort, a snare to adhering church- 
members, and has been the stumbling-block 



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